What is the difference between an HSA and an FSA?

Asked by: Dr. Devin Corwin IV  |  Last update: February 11, 2022
Score: 4.1/5 (73 votes)

The most significant difference between flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA) is that an individual controls an HSA and allows contributions to roll over, while FSAs are less flexible and are owned by an employer.

Which is better HSA or FSA?

FSA or HSA: Which Is Better? When it comes to flexibility, tax-free growth and portability, an HSA wins over the more limited FSA.

What does an FSA cover that an HSA does not?

You can't contribute to an HSA and a traditional FSA in the same year. But HSA holders can contribute to an LPFSA for dental and vision expenses, and to a Dependent Care FSA for child care costs.

Why do companies choose FSA over HSA?

Because your contributions are made on a pretax basis, a healthcare FSA directly reduces your taxable income, as well as the payroll taxes you pay. When you have a high deductible medical plan at work, an HSA can be critical for filling in the expense gap that comes along with it.

Can I have both FSA and HSA?

Back to the original question – “can you have an FSA and HSA at the same time?” Generally speaking, you cannot have a health FSA and HSA at the same time. However, there are a couple of exceptions: limited purpose FSAs and dependent care FSAs.

What is HSA vs FSA? Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account EXPLAINED

33 related questions found

Can you use HSA for dental?

HSA - You can use your HSA to pay for eligible health care, dental, and vision expenses for yourself, your spouse, or eligible dependents (children, siblings, parents, and others who are considered an exemption under Section 152 of the tax code).

What happens to my HSA if I switch to a PPO?

Q: What happens to my HSA if I leave my health plan or job? A: You own your account, so you keep your HSA, even if you change health insurance plans or jobs.

Is a healthcare FSA worth it?

A health care FSA is also “worth it” to account holders because it gives them access to the entire annual amount elected beginning on the very first day of the plan year for medical, dental, & vision costs.

What items are HSA eligible?

Examples of items generally eligible under HSAs, FSAs, and HRAs:
  • Acupuncture.
  • Alcoholism treatment.
  • Ambulance.
  • Artificial limb.
  • Automobile modifications for a physically handicapped person.
  • Birth control pills.
  • Blood pressure monitoring device.
  • Braille books & magazines (above the cost of regular printed material)

What is HSA eligible?

An eligible expense is a health care service, treatment or item the IRS states can be paid for without taxes. ... Eligible expenses can be incurred by you, your spouse or qualified dependents. The HSA can only be used to pay for eligible medical expenses incurred after your HSA was established.

Can I buy groceries with my HSA card?

Yes! You can use your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to purchase any Ready, Set, Food!

Is hand sanitizer covered by HSA?

Health savings account (HSA) participants may use the funds in their HSA to pay for masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes on a pre-tax basis. Sponsors of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) may also allow these expenses to be reimbursed from their plans.

Is toilet paper FSA eligible?

Toiletries can describe anything from oral care items like mouthwash, toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss to hair products like shampoo and conditioners; bathroom products like toilet paper; feminine care like tampons and pads; cotton swabs and fingernail clippers, and more.

Do HSA roll over?

You can roll over all the funds in your HSA. Rolling over your funds every year allows you to grow the value of your portfolio. An HSA is similar to an individual retirement account (IRA) or 401(k). ... You can grow the portfolio for decades and continue to pay for your qualified medical expenses tax-free.

How much should you put in HSA?

As of 2017, you can contribute a maximum of $3,400 to an individual HSA or $6,750 to an HSA for your family, according to the IRS. If you're 55 or older, you get to contribute another $1,000 on top of that. It's important to note that there can't be joint owners on an HSA.

Are HSA worth it?

If you're generally healthy and you want to save for future health care expenses, an HSA may be an attractive choice. Or if you're near retirement, an HSA may make sense because the money can be used to offset the costs of medical care after retirement.

Can I buy tampons with HSA?

With the passage of the CARES Act in March 2020, tampons and other menstrual care products are now fully FSA-/HSA-eligible. According to the text of the bill, menstrual care products include, “tampon, pad, liner, cup, sponge, or similar product used by individuals with respect to menstruation…”

Can you buy toilet paper with HSA?

Lively, my pick for the top HSA account, maintains a very thorough list of qualified medical expenses that has been updated. Items like common deodorant, shampoo, soap, and toilet paper are not eligible.

Can I buy toothbrush with HSA?

Toothbrushes are not eligible for reimbursement with flexible spending accounts (FSA), health savings accounts (HSA), health reimbursement accounts (HRA), dependent care flexible spending accounts and limited-purpose flexible spending accounts (LPFSA) because they are general health products.

What are the disadvantages of an FSA?

What Are the Cons of FSAs?
  • You are required to use the money in your FSA by the end of the plan year. ...
  • FSAs are tied to your employment. ...
  • The IRS limits individual flexible spending account contributions to $2,750 as of 2020. ...
  • You can only sign up for an FSA during open enrollment.

What are the pros and cons of an FSA?

Read below for our simple pros and cons of a Flexible Spending Account.
  • Con: You're afraid to lose money. One of the biggest reasons people stray from opting into FSAs is their fear of losing their funds. ...
  • Pro: Give yourself a tax break. ...
  • Pro: Save on everyday items. ...
  • Pro: It's like shopping online for anything else.

How much should you contribute to FSA?

An individual can contribute up to $2,750 per year through their employer. If you're married and your spouse has an FSA through their employer, they can also contribute $2,750. There are some rules you must follow in order to take advantage of an FSA.

Can you cash out a HSA?

Can I withdraw the funds from my HSA at any time? Yes, you can withdraw funds from your HSA at any time. But please keep in mind that if you use your HSA funds for any reason other than to pay for a qualified medical expense, those funds will be taxed as ordinary income, and the IRS will impose a 20% penalty.

Is HSA an HMO or PPO?

HSA stands for health savings account. It's separate from the type of network options of a PPO, HMO, etc. and typically is cheaper than non-HSA eligible plans. You can open an HSA with any HSA eligible health plan, and use those tax deductible funds to pay for eligible medical costs.

What should I do with my old HSA?

You are the owner of your HSA, which means you can take it with you when you leave your current job. Here are some important points to consider. If your new employer offers an HSA that you like better than your current account, you can roll the money in your old HSA into your new employer's plan.