This week we continue our pre-Benefits Open Enrollment series to help you get to know the benefits available to you. We’ve created the fact sheet below with Frequently Asked Questions about how to best use a Heath Savings Account (HSA). Click the link below to download the fact sheet. I’ve also outlined some of the information below.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using HSAs

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How do I manage my HSA?

Your health savings account (HSA) is your account; the HSA dollars are your dollars. Since you are the account holder or HSA owner, you manage your HSA account. You may choose when to use your HSA dollars or when not to use your HSA dollars. HSA dollars can pay for qualified medical expenses on a tax-free basis. Most commonly, HSA owners use HSA dollars to pay the out-of-pocket expenses associated with their high deductible health plan (HDHP), such as the deductible or any coinsurance.   

What expenses are eligible for tax-free reimbursement from my HSA?

Your HSA dollars may be used on a tax-free basis for qualified medical expenses incurred by you, your spouse or your dependent children.

Qualified medical expenses include payments for medical services rendered by physicians, surgeons, dentists and other medical practitioners. They also include the costs of equipment, supplies and diagnostic devices needed for these purposes. Medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental disability or illness. They don’t include expenses that are merely beneficial to general health, such as vitamins or a vacation. In addition, the following insurance premiums may be reimbursed from an HSA on a tax-free basis:

  • Health care continuation premiums (for example, COBRA premiums)
  • Health insurance premiums while receiving unemployment benefits
  • Qualified long-term care premiums
  • Any health insurance premiums paid, other other than for a Medicare supplemental policy, by individuals ages 65 and over

Are dental and vision care qualified medical expenses under an HSA?
Yes, as long as they would qualify for the medical and dental expenses deduction under federal tax law. This deduction is explained in IRS Publication 502, ?Medical and Dental Expenses.? For example, cosmetic procedures, like cosmetic dentistry, are not considered qualified medical expenses.

What medical expenses are NOT eligible for tax-free reimbursement from my HSA?

The following medical expenses may not be reimbursed from an HSA on a tax-free basis:

  • Premiums for Medicare supplemental policies
  • Expenses covered by another insurance plan
  • Expenses incurred prior to the date the HSA was established
  • Over-the-counter drugs purchased without a prescription, except insulin

As always, please feel free to reach out to with any benefits-related questions. And be sure to look for more from our KNOW YOUR BENEFITS series next week. 

Bob Wilson

Bob Wilson is the Chief Human Resources Officer for CleanSlate, a leading national medical group that provides office-based outpatient medication treatment for the chronic disease of addiction, primarily alcohol and opioid use disorders.