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The five stages of your HSA journey

Learn more about the five-stage journey we go through as we save and pay for qualified medical expenses.

Saving and spending for health care isn’t a sprint. It’s a journey. And you have questions. And you may not be sure where to begin.

Start with a health savings account or HSA.From the moment you decide to open your account— to maximizing your health care dollars, your HSA journey will take you through five stages.

Before you decide to open an HSA, find out if you’re eligible. The main requirement is that you’re covered under a qualifying high deductible health plan, or HDHP.  There are also additional requirements defined by the IRS.

An HSA offers you an easy, convenient, income tax-free way to save and pay for qualified medical expenses for you and your eligible dependents. In general, contributions to your HSA are income tax-free. And when the money is used to pay for qualified medical expenses-- it is also income tax-free. Your savings can also potentially grow income tax-free. Three very good reasons to say yes to an HSA!

Now that you’ve decided to open your HSA, it’s time to get your account up and running! There are just a few simple steps to complete an application. Or your employer may have already opened your account for you. You’ll also need to decide how much to contribute to your account; up to the current IRS limit.  An easy way to contribute to your HSA is through payroll deductions, if your employer offers this option.  Or you can make a one time or recurring contribution to your account online. Remember you can stop, start or change your contribution amount at any time. The best part? The money in your account rolls over from year to year. And it’s always yours to keep. Even if you change jobs or retire.

Now it’s time to start using your HSA dollars to pay for qualified medical expenses. It’s easy! You can use online bill pay or your Optum Financial debit card. You can also sign in to your account to request a reimbursement if you’ve already paid your bill out of pocket.

Questions? Online tools can keep you on track and help is always just a click away. You’re doing a great job managing your HSA, way to go! You know making informed decisions at every stage of the journey is key to making the most out of your healthcare dollars.

Be sure to stay up to date with your account activity, view statements and track your cash flow. Online tools can help you track your contributions and manage your receipts. Be sure to maximize your contributions.  If you’re 55 or older, you can contribute an extra $1,000 annually as a catchup contribution. 

The fifth stage of your journey? Optimizing your health care dollars! Once your HSA reaches a certain designated balance, known as the investment threshold, you can choose to invest a portion of your HSA dollars. Unlike a 401k, if you happen to incur a large health expense—those dollars are yours to use at any time. 

Save, invest and potentially grow those dollars to help you build a nice nest egg for retirement.

Decide. Open. Use. Manage. Optimize.  The five stages of your HSA journey. For questions or to learn more, visit 

A five stage journey

Whether you've just opened a health savings account (HSA) or you’ve been contributing for years, you likely have questions. We all do. And how you use your HSA will likely change over time. Most of us go through a five-stage journey as we save and pay for qualified medical expenses.