Having piqued everyone’s interest, Jodi throws out a second question. “How would anyone who is not contributing to an FSA account open an HSA account?”
“You better just tell us, Mom.” Nicole is ready for more details.
Jodi explains, “Actually, there are two ways to open an HSA account. Since the HSA belongs to the individual and not the employer, as long as you are covered by a high deductible health plan, or HDHP, you may open and contribute to an HSA. The other way is how Dad and I did it. Since we have a qualifying HDHP through work, we were also able to open an HSA through our employer.”
Nicole continues her inquiry. “What if my employer doesn’t offer an HSA account? Where can I open one on my own?”62
Jodi answers, “First, remember that you cannot contribute to both an HSA and FSA. From what I read, Nicole, you may want to check first with your human resources department since my employer, like others, contributes money to my HSA. I suspect that my employer may pick up the fees as well. If that’s not an option, when I was reading about funding a long-term care policy with HSA funds, I came across an online search site to help you find an HSA administrator.63
You can compare fees and investing options. I’m sure there are other such sites as well.”
“For what it’s worth, let me pitch in here.” All eyes shift to Doug. “I opened an HSA account at my company, and I have my contribution deducted from my pay. Since I contribute to my HSA via pretax payroll withholding through my employer’s Section 125 plan, I don’t pay FICA taxes on those contributions. Currently, that means an extra 7.65 percent from each contribution comes back to me.64 And because HSAs are individually owned, it will stay with me if I change jobs or retire.”
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