Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs, are savings accounts that are combined with a high-deductible health plan. Because high-deductible plans generally cost less than low-deductible plans, HSAs are a good option for employers who cannot afford a comprehensive (low-deductible) health plan. These savings accounts are controlled by the covered employee and are intended to help pay small and routine health care expenses. Both employers and employees may contribute to HSAs.

What is covered? 

Comprehensive up to savings account limit, and usually comprehensive above deductible. Employee responsible for share of deductible after savings account funds are spent.

Whom can you see? 

Below deductible: any doctor. Above deductible: benefits generally reduced for services outside the network.

Cost-sharing at time of service: 

Employee pays with spending account funds, and then out-of-pocket, up to a high deductible (for example, $4,000). Copayments and/or co-insurance apply after deductible.

Monthly premium*: 

Usually a low-cost option (monthly premiums for high-deductible plans average $550). Policies with higher deductibles typically have lower premiums.


Good option if employers and employees share an interest in keeping monthly premiums low. Employer must be willing to set up and administer savings accounts; insurance carriers, financial institutions, brokers and other advisers can help. HSAs may be less attractive to older and sicker employees, whose health needs may use up their savings account and require additional out-of-pocket payments.

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