Is my HSA separate from my health insurance plan?

Sometimes shorthand abbreviations confuse things.
Like this: “HSA-qualified HDHP plan” —  which describes a high deductible health plan (HDHP) that qualifies you to open a Health Savings Account.” There are a couple of things that we find often need to be clarified when it comes to understanding how the HSA relates to the qualified health plan.
1.  The HSA is not a part of your health insurance policy. It’s a totally separate animal. Your “qualified” high deductible health insurance plan simply qualifies you to make tax-free contributions to an HSA.
So you could have a HSA-qualified health insurance plan without actually opening and using an HSA. It would be silly, but a large percentage of qualified policy-holders do just that. They never get around to opening the account. If you’re in that boat – we recommend you check out HSA Bank, who specializes in managing health savings accounts and have a bunch of helpful resources.
2. You can open an HSA anywhere you want. On the flipside, because the account is separate – you can open it anywhere you’d like. Many insurance companies partner with a particular bank (or have their own), but the fact is you can open the HSA account wherever you’d like to have it, and most banks offer HSAs now (this wasn’t always the case).
3. You own your HSA. You’re ultimately responsible, of course, for staying within annual contribution limits and using the money in allowable ways. But the HSA is your account and that money is YOUR money. It is not tied to your health insurance policy at all. You can use it to pay for health expenses that aren’t necessarily covered by your health insurance policy – like dental or chiropractic, for example – as long as the government says those are qualified expenses (and presently they are).
If you are interested in learning more about individual HSA-qualified health insurance plans (or group plans for your small business), please contact us today.