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HSA frequently asked questions

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Optum Bank is the administrator for the state insurance plan members' tax-advantaged accounts. This FAQ page gives you information about your health savings accounts.

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HSA FAQs

  • To be eligible for a health savings account, you must meet the following requirements, as defined by the IRS:

    • You must be covered under a qualifying high-deductible health plan on the first day of the month. The consumer-driven health plan and Local CDHP are considered as qualifying HDHPs.
    • You have no other health coverage except what is permitted by the IRS.
    • You can’t be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.
    • You are not enrolled in Medicare, TRICARE or TRICARE for Life.
    • You haven’t received Veterans Affairs benefits within the past three months, except for preventive care or a service-connected disability (and it must be a disability). If you have a disability rating from the VA, this exclusion doesn’t apply.
    • You do not qualify for a medical flexible spending account if you are enrolled in the CDHP/HSA. You may, however, have a limited purpose FSA for vision and dental expenses only.

    Other restrictions and exceptions may also apply. We recommend that you consult a tax, legal or financial advisor to discuss your personal circumstances.

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  • Yes. You may keep your HSA if you are no longer enrolled in the State Group Insurance Program’s CDHP or Local CDHP but will not be eligible to contribute funds to it. You may, however, use the funds in your HSA to pay for eligible health care expenses. In addition, you are responsible for any monthly administrative fees associated with your HSA if you are no longer enrolled in the CDHP or Local CDHP. The monthly administrative fee will be automatically deducted from your HSA. 
    OR
  • No. You may not enroll in the CDHP or Local CDHP if you do not meet the eligibility requirements to open an HSA. Because an HSA is opened automatically for those who enroll in one of those plans, you must be HSA-eligible to participate. If you are not HSA-eligible then you should enroll in one of the PPOs offered by the State Group Insurance Program.
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  • Yes. HSA eligibility relates to your ability to make contributions. Once you open an HSA, you can make income tax-free distributions for qualified medical expenses for the rest of your life, as long as you still have a balance in your account.
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  • No. You can keep your account, and the money in it remains yours. If your new employer offers an HSA, you can continue contributing to your Optum Bank account instead of opening a new one. The State is paying your monthly account administrative fee, however you become responsible for the monthly administrative fee if you disenroll from the CDHP or Local CDHP or leave employment. The administrative fee will be automatically deducted from your HSA each month.
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  • It’s easy to get started. Check out Optum Bank’s new account holder checklist to learn how to activate your debit card, make contributions and more.
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  • There are several options. You can sign in to your account to set up one-time or recurring deposits. You can mail in a check. Or, if available from your employer, you can set up payroll deductions from every check. You can also contribute with the Optum Bank app.
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  • 2022 limits:

    • An individual can contribute up to $3,650 (increase of $50 from 2021) for the year. 
    • An individual with family coverage can contribute up to $7,300 (increase of $100 from 2021) for the year. 

    If you are age 55 or older, you can contribute an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000 per year. If your spouse is also 55 or older, he or she may establish a separate HSA and make a “catch-up” contribution to that account.

    Sign in to your account today and check your contribution limit.

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  • The IRS sets guidelines for how much you can contribute to an HSA each year. 

    2021 limits:

    • An individual can contribute up to $3,600 (increase of $50 from 2020) for the year.
    • An individual with family coverage can contribute up to $7,200 (increase of $100 from 2020) for the year.

    If you are age 55 or older, you can contribute an additional $1,000 per year as a catch-up contribution. If your spouse is also 55 or older, he or she may establish a separate HSA and make a “catch-up” contribution to that account. Be aware that these limits include any seed funds or contributions that your employer may also make. Be sure to factor that amount, if applicable, into your calculations.

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  • You can use your Optum Bank debit Mastercard® on the spot or after you receive a bill. You can pay bills online or using the Optum Bank app. Or, you can reimburse yourself later for a payment you’ve made.
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  • Find out whether your expense is qualified by checking out the qualified medical expense tool
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  • You can reimburse your own, your spouse’s and any tax dependents’ expenses income tax-free from your HSA. These other family members don’t need to be HSA-eligible themselves or covered on your medical plan for you to make income tax-free distributions from your HSA to reimburse their qualified medical expenses tax-free.
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  • You can invest a portion of your HSA dollars in mutual funds once you reach the designated balance of $1,000.

    When you set up your investment account, you'll choose how you want the funds to be allocated among the available mutual funds. Once your account is established, you can change your investment elections, transfer funds and rebalance your account.

    For more specific information on investing HSA funds, click here to read the investment FAQs.

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  • No. You can reimburse each other’s expenses from your respective HSAs as long as you remain married. You can’t combine accounts, but you may choose to reimburse both your and your spouse’s expenses from one HSA to exhaust the balance in that account. Then, you have to manage (and perhaps pay monthly administration/ maintenance fees) on only one account without losing the ability to reimburse an expense that either of you incurs (as long as you remain married).
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General questions

  • HealthSafe ID is our leading technology that strengthens website authentication protocols and enhances the security of your account by adding dual-factor authentication so it remains safe and secure. 

    If you’re unsure whether you have a HealthSafe ID, start the registration form to confirm if your information is already connected to a HealthSafe ID. You may also recover your username or password if you forgot.

    Follow these easy steps to create a HealthSafe ID if you don’t yet have one (takes less than five minutes): 

    • Click here to visit the HealthSafe ID website, a certified URL wholly owned and operated by Optum.
    • Provide your name, birthdate, ZIP code, phone number, the last four digits on your debit. Confirm your email and phone number to keep your account secure.
    • Sign in with your new username and password each time you return.

    Mastercard’s ID Theft Services

    You are automatically enrolled in ID Theft Resolution Service for your Optum Bank debit Mastercard®. This service includes: 

    • 24/7 access to certified resolution specialists
      • Watching for stolen personal information and confidential data online
      • Help canceling all lost cards and notifying all three major credit reporting agencies
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  • Yes. Use the following links if you are having trouble remembering your username or password, or need to register for our site:

    Forgot username
    Forgot password
    Register now

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  • Yes, when you call 866-600-4984 and speak to a customer service representative, they will utilize translation services through the AT&T Language Line to support any language you prefer.
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  • Make managing and paying for qualified medical expenses easier, check your balance, upload a receipt and more on the go, with the Optum Bank app. To download the app, visit the App Store if you have an Apple mobile device, or get it on Google Play if you have a Samsung or Android mobile device. 
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  • You will receive two debit cards after your HSA has been opened. Both cards access the same account funds and you, as the primary account holder, can choose to provide one of these cards to a spouse or dependent to use for qualified medical expense purchases. 
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  • To order additional cards for your spouse and eligible dependents, sign in to your account. In the “I want to” section, click “Manage debit cards.”
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  • To activate your card and set up your PIN, follow the instructions on the activation card sticker when you first get your cards in the mail. You will need to call the phone number provided on the activation card sticker and follow the caller prompts to enter your card number, CVV code and the last four (4) digits of your Social Security Number to activate your card. After entering your information, you will be able to obtain/change your PIN.

    If you lose your activation card sticker, you can call customer service at 866-600-4984 to activate your card and set up your PIN.

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  • If you’ve forgotten your PIN or need to change it, call the customer service phone number on the back of your debit card.
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  • You can get copies of your 2020 IRS Form 1099-SA and IRS Form 5498-SA by signing in to your account online and viewing the "Statements and Docs" section. If you need some help getting started you can visit the HSA tax center for more information.

    Please note: tax forms are not available via the Optum Bank® app.

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  • Yes. It's easy to check whether or not you have designated beneficiaries. If you need to add or update the ones you have already listed, follow the steps below.

    • Sign in to your account. 
    • Select "Manage beneficiaries" from the “I want to…” section.
    • Select "+ Add a new beneficiary" (you’ll need the date of birth and Social Security Number for the individual(s) you’re adding).
    • Complete the online form and then select "Submit."
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  • You name a beneficiary when you enroll in your HSA, and you can change the designation at any time. If you name your spouse as beneficiary (the most common situation), upon your death your HSA passes to your spouse with balances and tax advantages intact. Your spouse can then reimburse their own eligible expenses income tax-free. In addition, if your spouse chooses to remarry, they can reimburse their new spouse’s qualified medical expenses income tax-free. If you name any other person or entity as the beneficiary, the HSA is liquidated and the assets pass to that person or entity, who may incur a tax liability. That beneficiary doesn’t enjoy the tax benefits and isn’t constrained by the rules of an HSA.
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  • Call 866-600-4984 to cancel your account.
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HSA and Medicare FAQs

  • No. You can open and contribute to an HSA at age 65 or older as long as you meet HSA eligibility requirements, which are:

    • You’re covered on an HSA-qualified medical plan (for State Group Insurance Program members, the CDHP or Local CDHP qualify).
    • You’re not someone’s tax dependent.
    • You don’t have any conflicting coverage (including enrollment in Medicare).

    Turning age 65 does not, in and of itself, preclude you from remaining HSA-eligible absent any disqualifying coverage.

    OR
  • Yes. Medicare does not offer an HSA-qualifying option. You can’t make contributions to your HSA for any months after you enroll in any part of Medicare, even if you’re also covered on an HSA-qualifying plan.
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  • No. You will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (inpatient services) only if you are age 65 or older and receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits.

    You’re automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B (outpatient services like doctor visits, lab work and imaging) if you’re collecting Social Security disability HSA and Medicare benefits or are diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Otherwise, you must sign up to receive coverage through Medicare. 

    For more information on Medicare enrollment, please refer to Medicare and You or call the Social Security Administration customer service center at 800-772-1213.

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  • Yes. You are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (inpatient services) and Part B (outpatient services like doctor visits, lab work and imaging) if you’re collecting Social Security benefits. Therefore, you cannot make contributions to your HSA for any months after you enroll in any part of Medicare, even if you’re also covered on an HSA-qualifying plan.

    For more information on Medicare enrollment, please refer to Medicare & You or call the Social Security Administration customer service center at 800-772-1213.

    OR
  • Yes, if your spouse is otherwise HSA-eligible. Individuals don’t have to be the medical plan subscriber to be HSA-eligible. Your spouse may open their own HSA because they are covered by your HSA-qualified plan. Both you and your spouse can contribute to that HSA. You or your spouse can also make tax-deductible contributions up to the family maximum if you remain covered on your employer’s HSA-qualified plan.

    For some couples, this provision in the law allows them to continue to contribute to an HSA (and build income tax-free balances for distribution in retirement) for several years after the older spouse enrolls in Medicare.

    OR
  • No. You lose the ability to contribute funds to your HSA once you enroll in Medicare. You can contribute for the months that you were eligible for Medicare but not yet enrolled. For example, if your 65th birthday is May 6 and you enroll in Medicare immediately, your effective date of Medicare coverage is May 1. You can make contributions for the months of January, February, March and April at any point up to the date that you file your personal income tax returns for that year, even though you may not be HSA-eligible at the time that you make your retroactive contribution for those months.
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  • Yes, if your spouse is HSA-eligible and has an HSA, you — or anyone else — can contribute to your spouse’s HSA. Your enrollment in Medicare doesn’t disqualify your spouse from contributing to (or accepting contribution from others into) their HSA.

    You can contribute personal funds, either through post-tax payroll (you can set up a payroll deduction to send money directly to your spouse’s HSA) or with personal funds. Your spouse then deducts these contributions on their (or if you’re filing jointly, your joint) personal income tax return. Anyone else other than you or your spouse who contribute to either of your HSAs, however, cannot receive the tax deduction.

    OR
  • You can still reimburse, income tax-free, all qualified medical out-of-pocket expenses not reimbursed by other insurance or other sources, including:

    • Medical plan deductibles
    • Copay and coinsurance
    • Dental and vision expenses
    • Insulin and diabetic supplies
    • Over-the-counter drugs and medicine with a prescription

    In addition, you can reimburse certain insurance premiums, including premiums for:

    • Medicare Parts B and D
    • Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage — plans offered by private insurers that replace Medicare coverage)
    • Some Medicare supplement plans
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  • You can’t reimburse your own or anyone else’s Medicare premiums income tax-free until you, the account owner, turn age 65. If you have an older spouse and want to reimburse their Medicare premiums income tax-free, they must open an HSA before they enroll in Medicare and contribute at least the $1,000 annual catch-up contribution. They can use this to cover their Medicare premiums until you turn age 65 and can reimburse their premiums income tax-free from your HSA. In addition, when both of you are HSA-eligible and covered on a family HSA-qualifying or compatible medical plan, you can split the family maximum contribution between your two HSAs as you wish.
    OR
  • No. Distributions for non-eligible expenses are always included in your taxable income, putting these withdrawals on par with taxes on distributions from a traditional 401(k) or traditional IRA. Once you turn 65 or meet Social Security’s definition of disabled, you can make distributions for items that aren’t HSA-qualified without incurring the 20 percent additional tax (penalty) otherwise assessed to non-qualified medical expenses.
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  • Possibly. Here are the potential tax consequences if you delay enrolling in Medicare around your 65th birthday when you’re entitled to an Initial Enrollment Period:

    • Part A (inpatient and home health care): If you (or your spouse) worked 40 employment quarters with income above the Medicare threshold, you receive Part A premium-free. You face no penalties for delaying enrollment past your Initial Enrollment Period.
    • Part B (physician and outpatient services): If you don’t enroll during the Initial Enrollment Period, you must maintain group coverage from your 65th birthday until you do enroll in Part B. For every 12 months past your 65th birthday that you don’t maintain group coverage, you pay a 10% surcharge on your monthly Part B premium for the rest of your life. In addition, you may face a gap in coverage when you do want to enroll, since you’ll have to wait until the next General Enrollment Period to enroll in benefits effective the following July 1.
    • Part D (prescription drug coverage): If you don’t enroll during the Initial Enrollment Period, you must maintain group or nongroup coverage that offers prescription drug benefits at least as rich as Part D. If you don’t, you're assessed a permanent surcharge of 1% of the national base beneficiary premium for every month since your 65th birthday that your coverage isn’t what’s called Medicare Creditable Coverage (MCC). In addition, you may face a gap in coverage when you want to enroll. You’ll have to wait for the next General Enrollment Period to enroll in benefits.
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  • That’s a personal decision that you should discuss with your financial advisor. While your initial reaction might be to avoid penalties at all costs, note that (1) the penalties aren’t a punishment for doing something illegal or immoral and (2) you may be better off financially by remaining in your HSA program, building HSA balances to cover future expenses, enjoying tax savings and later facing penalties.
    OR