Skip to main content

For information on the Change Healthcare cyber response:



For Providers - Get information on temporary funding assistance:

Find out about our temporary funding assistance program for those affected by payment services disruptions.

Top 5 HSA questions employees ask

July 21, 2023 | 5-minute read

Be ready to answer these questions and share resources

As your employees open and use their health savings account (HSA), they may ask questions about how it works.

Our deep research into the health finance journey shows that employees who are more knowledgeable and engaged in their benefits:

  • Contribute more to their HSA
  • Have HSA balances that are higher than the industry average
  • Are more likely to invest their HSA for future health care expenses

Be ready to answer these top 5 HSA questions and share resources with your employees to help them get the most value from their account. Include this information in your benefits newsletter, on your intranet and/or in your benefits administration system.

1. What can I use my HSA for?

An HSA can be used for health care costs that pop up or for everyday health needs, from braces and bandages to contacts and copays.

Eligible HSA expenses include:

  • Provider visits, X-rays, crutches and prescriptions
  • Everyday health items like pain relievers, cold and flu medicine, acne treatments, period care products, hearing aids, contact solution and sunscreen
  • Acupuncture, birth control, compression socks, mental health treatment, LASIK, addiction treatment and shoe inserts

Use your HSA payment card at checkout, in your digital wallet or online at the stores and sites where you already shop such as Walmart, Target, Amazon and more.

Read "11 surprising things you can buy with HSA or FSA dollars" at

To browse a searchable list of eligible expenses, visit

2. How much should I contribute to my HSA?

Think about how you want to use your HSA dollars in the short-term and how much you’re able to set aside for possible future health care expenses. An HSA is like your bank account, and you can change how much you contribute at any time.

Short-term medical expenses

The more you use your HSA to pay for eligible expenses, the more you can save (up to 30%1) because you're using pretax dollars.

See the thousands of items you can buy at Estimate how much you spend on typical items and contribute to your HSA to cover those costs.

If you have upcoming medical expenses (like a scheduled knee surgery) or you just had a medical emergency that required care (like an appendectomy), it’s smart to increase your HSA contribution. That way, you can use it to pay for those expenses.

Long-term medical expenses

Your HSA dollars can pay for medical expenses when you retire or if you find yourself between jobs. You can use them to pay for health insurance premiums, deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

After you turn 65, you can use your HSA dollars for anything (you’ll just pay ordinary income tax on those expenses).

Annual HSA contribution limits

You can contribute to an HSA when you’re enrolled in an eligible high-deductible health plan (HDHP). The IRS sets an annual contribution limit, which is the maximum amount you and your employer combined can contribute to your HSA in that tax year.

Keep in mind that if you have more than one HSA, the limit applies to contributions to all of your HSAs in that tax year.

Contribution limits:

  • For 2023 — $3,850 for individuals and $7,750 for families
  • For 2024 — $4,150 for individuals and $8,300 for families
  • Once you turn 55, you can contribute an extra $1,000 per year; this is usually called a catch-up contribution

Read "Manage your HSA contributions" at

Chart titled 'HSA contribution chart 2023-2024' Chart titled 'HSA contribution chart 2023-2024'

3. Can I combine an HSA from a prior employer with my new HSA?

Yes, you can combine accounts. HSAs are just like checking and savings accounts — you can have more than one HSA. But many people find it easier to keep all their HSA dollars in one account. To combine accounts, you need to do an HSA transfer or rollover.

Combining HSAs is a simple process, it just takes a bit of time. Download and complete our Optum Financial form and send it to the administrator of the HSA you’d like to move. Remember, your HSA is yours to keep even if you leave your employer.

To learn about transfers and rollovers, read "Transfer your HSA" at

Infographic titled 'How to transfer your HSA' Infographic titled 'How to transfer your HSA'

4. What do I need to know about my HSA when filing taxes?

Your HSA is a tax-advantaged account. This means that the contributions you make to it during the tax year aren't taxed as income. You can use this account to pay for eligible medical expenses for you and anyone you claim on your taxes.

The way your contributions affect your income taxes depends on how you make contributions (by payroll/pretax or out of pocket/post-tax). Contributions are reported on Form 8889, and distributions are reported on Form 1040.

Visit the HSA tax center at to learn more about the tax forms associated with your HSA and when you’ll get them.

5. Should I invest my HSA?

You may choose to invest all or part of your HSA balance to make your money grow tax-free for future health expenses. We have HSA investment options for every kind of investor through partnerships with Betterment and Charles Schwab.2

Looking to save for retirement or anticipate costly health needs in the future? You can use your HSA for everyday needs and also invest a portion of it to grow for the future. To save for both today and tomorrow, try to contribute as much as you can to your HSA.

Learn about HSA investment options at to find what works best for you.


  1. Savings compares using pretax income in your HSA to using after-tax income for purchases and assumes a 30% combined tax rate from all applicable federal, state and FICA taxes. Results and amount will vary depending on your circumstances.
  2. Go to and for details and disclosures.