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Health Savings Account

A Health Savings Account (HSA) allows you to put money aside and reimburse yourself for medical expenses on a tax-deductible basis. You can open an HSA only if you are enrolled in the Blue Shield Healthcare + Savings Plan.

HSA Details

Am I eligible for an HSA?

When you elect the Healthcare + Savings Plan during open enrollment, you are also eligible to elect an HSA.

There are certain restriction that apply to HSAs, including:

  • You are not covered by other health insurance
  • Your are not enrolled in Medicare Part A or B
  • You are not listed as a dependent on someone else's tax return
  • You do not participate in Stanford's  Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • Your spouse is not enrolled in a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA).
How do I set up an HSA? You can set up an HSA with any financial institution that provides HSA services, or when you elect the HDHP during open enrollment, you may also set up an HSA account with HealthEquity, Blue Shield's financial partner.
What are the advantages of a HealthEquity HSA?

Opening your HSA with HealthEquity has three important advantages:

  1. You may set up your HSA with HealthEquity at the same time you elect coverage in the plan.
  2. You may fund your HSA through payroll deductions. Elect to have Stanford withhold an annual amount which will be withheld in equal amounts from your pay on a pre-tax basis for reimbursement of these expenses. Funds are available in your HealthEquity account the day after your paycheck in which a deduction is taken. 
  3. Stanford contributes to your HSA (up to $300 for employee only and up to $600 for employee + eligible family members*).

*Note: These amounts are for employees who set up their account(s) with HealthEquity after electing the plan. If you enroll any time after January 1, the amount Stanford contributes will be prorated based on the number of pay periods remaining in the calendar year after you set up your account.

For more information, call 877-857-6810 or visit the HealthEquity website

What are the contribution limits?

In 2016, the HSA limit (the amount you contribute) is $3,350 for employee only, and $6,750 for employee + dependents.

In 2017, the HSA limit (the amount you contribute) is $3,400 for employee only, and $6,750 for employee + dependents (no change from 2016).

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding Health Savings Account.

View the complete list of FAQ

Watch the How to use your HSA video

Health Savings Account Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, there is an annual limit, determined by the IRS for individual or family coverage. While there is a limit on how much you can deposit into your HSA each year, there is no limit on how much you can save in your HSA over the long term.

If you are 55 or older, you can also make “catch-up” contributions ($1,000 additional annual contribution). Please note: if your spouse is also covered by an HSA-eligible health plan and has an HSA, the law says that the two of you together can only contribute up to the family limit, either to individual HSAs or to one or the other’s HSA.

Yes. You can request to make a lump-sum contribution to your HSA account by contacting the University HR Service Team at (877) 905-2985 or (650) 736-2985. Please note: your lump-sum contribution cannot exceed your annual HSA election amount.

Once you enroll in Medicare Part A or Part B you can no longer contribute to an HSA, but you can continue to withdraw the funds and use them to pay for expenses such as Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket expenses (including Part A and Part B deductibles, copays and coinsurance, and long-term care insurance premiums). You may also use these funds to pay medical expenses for your spouse and your dependent children.

If you are age 65 or older and still working we recommend that you contact Social Security to understand how long you can defer Social Security payments and Medicare Part A and B in order to continue contributing to your HSA.

Yes. The money in your HSA can be used to pay for qualified health care expenses of any family member who qualifies as a dependent on your tax return.

For example, if you are covering your 24-year old on your medical plan, your adult child must still be a tax dependent in order for his or her medical expenses to qualify for payment or reimbursement from a parent’s HSA. If the adult child is not a tax dependent but is covered by a parent’s HSA-eligible health plan, he or she may be able to open his or her own HSA. In these circumstances, it is best to consult with a competent tax advisor.

You own your HSA account and it stays with you when your employment ends. If you take a job elsewhere or retire but do not have coverage under an HSA-eligible health plan, you can still use your HSA to pay for qualified medical expenses. However, IRS rules will not allow you to deposit money into the HSA and receive tax benefits if you are not currently enrolled in an HSA-eligible health plan.

Once you retire, you can continue to receive tax benefits when you use the HSA for qualified medical expenses. If you are 65 years old or older, there is no penalty for withdrawing your money, even if you enroll in Medicare. When your Medicare coverage starts, you can use your HSA to pay your Medicare premiums, deductibles and copayments. After you turn 65 or become entitled to Medicare benefits, you may withdraw money from your HSA for non-medical purposes without penalty. The withdrawal is treated as retirement income and is subject to normal income tax.

If You Already Have an HSA

If you already have a personal HSA, you can still open one with HealthEquity. Just be sure the total amount you contribute to both accounts, plus Stanford's contribution, does not exceed the 2016 contribution maximum: $3,350 if you cover yourself only; $6,750 if you cover one or more eligible family members. In 2017, the contribution maximum increases to $3,400 if you cover yourself only. The family limit remains at $6,750 in 2017.