Health Savings Account
The University of Alaska offers a Health Savings Account (HSA) to employees enrolled in the UA Choice HDHP. The HSA allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to cover medical expenses. It is the employee's responsibility to confirm their HSA eligibility.
Benefit-eligible employees who will be working a minimum of 20 hours per week.
The HSA is only available to employees in a qualifying health care plan. At the university, our qualifying plan is the HDHP. While the university provides convenient payroll deductions for the HSA, all aspects of managing and maintaining the account as well as complying with IRS guidelines remain the responsibility of the employee.
Temporary Employees / Sikuliaq Employees
Temporary employees are not eligible.
Dependents are not eligible to enroll in their own HSAs. However, employees can use their HSA funds for tax-qualified dependents. Employees cannot use their HSA funds for non-tax-qualified dependents (i.e. FIPs).
Contributing to a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HC FSA)
If an employee is contributing to a HC FSA, they may not contribute to an HSA. If an employee is contributing to a Dependent Care FSA (DC FSA) they can contribute to an HSA.
If an employee is covered by any of the following, they are not eligible to participate in the HSA:
- Retiree health coverage, or
- A health plan that is not qualified as HSA compatible by the IRS
New Benefit-eligible Employees
Review the New Employee webpage for more information on enrolling in coverage. Employees have 30 days from their hire date to enroll in coverage otherwise employees will be defaulted into Basic medical, Basic dental, and vision for employee-only coverage.
Reminder | The Default - No HSA
If no form is submitted, new employees will not have access to an HSA without a life event or enrolling during open enrollment for the next plan year. This is because the default plan option (basic medical, basic dental, and vision) is not compatible with the HSA.
Current Benefit-eligible Employees - Update Anytime!
Current benefit-eligible employees can start, stop, or change their HSA contributions at any time. No life event is necessary. To make changes, complete the HSA Enrollment/Change Form.
Additional Life Event Changes
Please note - if there are additional life event changes outside of the HSA, these must be made in conjunction with the life event. Please review the qualifying life events page to understand life events and their deadlines. Late forms will not be accepted. The HSA is provided on the Life Event Changes Form so employees do not need to submit both forms.
Bank of America
The university's HSAs are managed by Bank of America. An HSA allows employees to:
- Set aside a portion of their income pre-tax
- Request tax-free withdrawals from their account to reimburse qualified expenses
An HSA is a valuable addition to the HDHP because:
- The HSA has a higher pre-tax contribution limit compared to the Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HC FSA)
- Unused funds remain with the employee and can accrue interest, allowing additional savings for the future
- Funds can be invested in various mutual funds for greater growth opportunities
Log into Bank of America's HSA webpage to review the account balance, submit receipts, and even invest funds!
When selecting your benefits and comparing plans, reach out to TouchCare to help determine which plan is best for you and your family. They can walk you through the benefits, go through qualified expenses, and help you understand who you can use the funds for.
The HSA can be used for qualified medical, dental, and vision out-of-pocket expenses.
Eligible Expenses Catalog
Unsure where to begin? Our FSA vendor has an excellent resource for outlining what is eligible for an HSA. Review ASIFlex's eligible expenses catalog to see if the product or service qualifies for the HSA.
After Each Payroll Deduction
Funds are available as they are deposited via payroll deduction.
This account provides tax savings allowing employees to contribute to the HSA with pre-tax dollars.
The HSA works as a supplemental retirement account. These funds always belong to the employee, rollover from year to year, remain with the employee when they leave the university or retire, and funds can be used for any reason after age 65 (not just for qualifying medical expenses). The HSA is an excellent long-term planning tool.
Once the account balance reaches $1,000, funds can be invested. This allows for additional market growth on the account. The university is not able to provide investment advice and strongly suggests that employees speak with a financial advisor prior to investing.
Individual (meaning only the employee is covered on the HDHP)
$3.850 for an individual
Family (meaning the employee covers themselves and one other person on the HDHP)
$7,750 for a family
Catch-up (over 55)
$1,000 if the employee is the account holder and is over 55
Married spouses, dependent children
Tax-qualified dependents (married spouses, biological or legally adopted children).
FIPs and children of FIPs
Financially Interdependent Spouses (FIPs) and children of FIPs that have not been legally adopted by the employee.
Bank of America Debit Card
Bank of America will send employees a welcome packet with steps to confirm identity before the account is fully open. Once the employee's identity is confirmed with Bank of America, a debit card will automatically be sent to the HR address on file.
Debit cards are not required. Employees may reimburse themselves by logging into their HSA account and submitting a claim for reimbursement directly.
The HSA funds do not expire. Employees will always have access to them - even after separation from the university.
Investing for the Future
Another way to maximize the HSA is to take advantage of the investment option. This feature of the HSA allows investments in a wide variety of mutual funds to help balances grow over time and save for health care expenses down the road. There are two ways to invest the HSA funds: recurring and one time transfers.
Recurring Automatic Transfers
Employees must establish a cash threshold with Bank of America. As contributions and withdrawals are made, HSA funds will automatically be transferred between investment and cash accounts.
One Time Manual Transfers
Once the HSA balance reaches $1,000, transactions between the cash and investment accounts can be manually initiated at any time by the employee.
The university is not able to provide investment advice and strongly suggest that employees speak with a financial advisor when investing in the market. For more information on investing the HSA funds, visit Bank of America's HSA Learn Site or view the HSA for Life flyer.
Coverage Begin Dates | First of the Month
Coverage for the HSA always begins on the first day of the month following an employee's medical coverage start date. This means if medical coverage begins on January 16th, the HSA will begin on February 1st. If medical coverage begins on February 1st, the HSA will also begin on February 1st.
Coverage End Dates
When an employee moves from a qualifying HSA plan to a non-qualifying plan, they are no longer eligible to contribute to the HSA. Funds in the HSA can still be used for qualified expenses, but employees in a non-HSA plan are not be able to contribute.
Bank of America will send a welcome packet to the HR address on file. This will include instructions on how to confirm identity and open the HSA with Bank of America. If an employee's identity is not confirmed, Bank of America will automatically close the account and return funds. Please reach out to email@example.com if there are issues completing the identity verification or if the account has been closed.
When to expect the first deposit
Once enrolled in an HSA and confirm identity with Bank of America, employee information and biweekly payroll deductions will be sent to Bank of America for processing. Since (1) HSAs are required to start on the first of the month, and, since (2) we pay 2 weeks in arrears, it is common to expect a delay before Bank of America receives an employee's first deposit. For example, if an employee becomes eligible for health care during the pay period that includes September 13th, 2023, the HSA would begin on October 1, 2023. These funds would not be sent over to Bank of America until after the October 1, 2023, pay period closes and the pay is processed by payroll on October 20, 2023. This means those funds will be made available to Bank of America the week of October 23, 2023.
Debit cards are automatically mailed out to employees once the account has been opened and identity verified.
When Funds are Available
HSA funds are only available as deposits are made.
The biweekly rate for your HSA are based on your elected amount.
No arrears will be collected for the HSA. If any HSA contributions are missed, employee's can update their biweekly contributions at any time in order to meet their calendar year goal.
UA has several resources available to employees who need assistance. When in doubt, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be sure to direct the questions appropriately.
Bank of America | Call the number on the back of the HSA debit card
Having issues with identity verification and account set up? Call 1-800-992-3200.
- Having trouble logging into the Bank of America portal?
- Wanting to understand what is considered a qualified expense?