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Health Savings Accounts

What is a Health Saving Account?

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged savings and spending account that can be used to pay for qualified health care expenses.  An HSA can be funded by pre-tax payroll contributions from you, your employer, or both (subject to annual limits established by the IRS). Unlike a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), funds roll over and accumulate year to year if not spent. An HSA is owned by you, which differentiates it from company-owned Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA). HSAs are portable meaning they follow you, not your employer or your health insurance. HSA funds may be used to pay for qualified medical expenses, including deductibles and coinsurance, at any time without federal tax liability or penalty.  In many cases, HSAs are also interest bearing.  Even if you lose your job or health insurance, you can continue to pay for qualified medical and preventive expenses tax-free from your HSA.  Withdrawals from an HSA for non-medical expenses are treated very similarly to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) in that they may provide tax advantages if taken after retirement age, and they incur penalties if taken earlier.

Am I eligible to establish a Health Saving Account?

To be eligible to open an HSA, you must be enrolled in a qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), and must not be enrolled in any other health plan that is not an HSA qualified plan. Both of the HDHPs offered by the MACo Health Care Trust are HSA qualified plans. 

How do I establish a Health Saving Account?

Individuals enrolled in a qualified HDHP may establish an HSA at any financial institution of their choice. Wells Fargo Bank®, Glacier Bank/Valley Bank of HelenaSM and Mountain West Bank® are examples of financial institutions that offer Health Saving Accounts. 

HealthEquity® is another HSA option for MACoHCT members. HealthEquity is the nation’s oldest and largest dedicated health savings trustee. They provide hassle-free HSA administration through innovative technology and online tools, seamless end-to-end solutions, and 24/7/365 service. Since HealthEquity is fully integrated with the MACoHCT claims system, once a claim is processed and paid by MACoHCT, the remaining balance (member’s responsibility) is automatically sent to HealthEquity. Members can log-into their secure HealthEquity account, via computer or smart-phone, and pay medical providers directly from their HSA. Provider payments can even be scheduled for the future when HSA funds become available or members can elect to reimburse themself. For more information about Health Equity, visit their website or contact Hayley Brager at 406-523-3185.