Health Savings Accounts
Tips for utilizing health savings accounts (HSA):
- Deposits are generally non-refundable: Deposits to a HSA remain in the account until they are used to pay for qualifying medical expenses. Consumers should discuss the amount of withholding and any changes with their human resources officer at their place of employment.
- Safeguard HSA Debit Cards and PIN Codes: Because HSA’s are typically administered with a debit card, consumers should safeguard their personal information, including the PIN code that is assigned to the debit card. Consumers should consider changing the PIN code on a routine basis in order to prevent loss. Discrepancies regarding PIN codes should be resolved with the institution that issued the debit card. Additionally, consumers and medical providers should be aware that some HSA cards should be run as a “credit” rather than as a “debit” in order to insure that they work properly.
- Monitor Online Activity: Consumers should contact the entity that sponsors the HSA account to see if he or she can monitor account activity online. This ability will require access to a computer.
- Inquire about Tax Consequences: Consumers may consult IRS publications (IRS Publication 502) or financial professionals in order to learn of the tax consequences concerning HSA tax consequences.
- Keep receipts: Consumers should retain all receipts for all items purchased through their HSA as such receipts may be needed in order to verify the purpose of a qualifying medical expense. Consumers may also keep such receipts electronically rather than in paper form.