The 5 stages of health saving and spending

Whether you just opened a health savings account (HSA) or you’ve been contributing loyally for years, you likely have questions. We all do. In fact, Optum has discovered our questions evolve as our relationship with our HSA does. And most of us go through a 5-stage journey as we save and pay for health care.

Watch the 5 stages video

See how people just like you are progressing through the 5 stages of health saving and spending in this informational video.

For Chrome version 62 users and above please click on this link to view the video.

Note: Some features shown in video may not be available on all Optum Bank HSA accounts.

Learn more about the 5 stages of health saving and spending

Decide: I’m considering an HSA.

If your employer has shifted to a qualifying high-deductible health plan — or you’ve chosen one yourself with privately purchased insurance — you may be wondering just how you’re going to cover those health care expenses until you’ve met your deductible.

An HSA lets you save for medical expenses tax-free. In fact, it offers a triple tax advantage. That means you put pre-tax money, from your payroll check or a one-time deposit, into an account that continues to grow tax-free until you need it for medical expenses. Then, withdraw the money tax-free.
 Open an HSA

Open: I've opened an HSA, but haven't used it yet.

Congratulations. You’ve taken the first step. Now it’s time to start funding your account. Ask your employer if payroll deductions are an option, or set up a one-time or recurring deposit.

If you’ve already received your Optum Bank Health Savings Account Debit MasterCard® and made a deposit to your account, you can use it to pay for prescriptions and other health-related expenses.
 Make a contribution today

Use: I’m not sure how much to contribute.

Once your HSA is up and running, you’ll still have decisions to make, such as how much money you should save. 2017 rules allow you to contribute $3,400 for individuals or $6,750 for families — plus an extra $1,000 if you’re 55 or older.

If you can afford it, it’s a great idea to take advantage of the tax-free savings by contributing the full amount allowed.
 Make a contribution today  

Manage: I want tips for managing my HSA.

Once you are in the Manage stage, you should feel comfortable calculating how much you might need, know how to transfer funds between accounts, and keep on top of your account by confirming deposits and reviewing monthly statements. Congratulations! You are starting to be a pro. You will also figure out how having an HSA helps when you file your taxes each year.

While you may have set up payroll deductions, you’re not locked into that amount. You can adjust your contribution at any time, and you can make additional contributions.
 Make a contribution today

Optimize: I’m ready to turn my HSA into an investment.*

Now that you’ve built up a balance, it’s time to turn that money into an investment, so it will grow until you need it. Once you hit a certain threshold (usually $2,000), you can open an investment account to save for the long term and choose mutual funds just as you would with a 401(k).
 Learn more


Wondering if you’ve saved enough money for health care during retirement?



Find important information and tips for making the most of your health care dollars in current and past issues of Health Savings News, our newsletter for account holders.



Check your balance, make deposits, pay online, see statements, and more when you log in to your account using our secure website.
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Watch our quick 2-minute videos to learn the basics about HSAs.
 Watch videos now

Investments are not FDIC-insured, are not guaranteed by Optum Bank and may lose value.