Health Savings Account
The University of Alaska offers a Health Savings Account (HSA) to employees enrolled in the UA Choice HDHP. The HSA allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars to cover medical expenses as long as you are eligible to contribute to the account. It is your responsibility to ensure you are eligible to contribute to an HSA. Remember, you cannot have a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HC FSA) and a HSA at the same time.
The HSA is only available to those 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.
If you are covered by any of the following, you 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
Benefit-eligible employees who are enrolled in the HDHP or enrolled in no plan (opting out) and are otherwise eligible can open an HSA. Review our medical webpage for more information on the medical plans. You cannot contribute to an HSA and a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HC FSA) at the same time.
New employees have required action items that are due within their first 30 days of employment. Please review the New Benefits Eligible Employee webpage to be sure you understand what paperwork is required.
Temporary Employees are not eligible to participate in the HSA.
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).
Employees cannot enroll in both an HSA and a HC FSA at the same time. Employees can enroll in an HSA and a Dependent Care FSA (DC FSA) at the same time.
Review the sections below to see how you can enroll or update your coverage.
New employees have 30 days to make an election. Follow the two steps below to get started.
- Attend a Benefits Overview. Register to attend by contacting your HR Coordinator.
- Due within 30 days - Submit your New Employee Health Care Form
- A form must be submitted within 30 days of hire, even if you are opting out.
- If no form is submitted during the first 30-days of employment, employees will be defaulted into the Basic Health Plan, Basic Dental Plan, and Vision Plan for employee-only coverage.
- If enrolling dependents, you must provide supporting documentation at the time of enrollment.
Coverage Begin Dates | First of the Month
Coverage for the HSA always begins on the first day of the month following your medical coverage start date. This means if your medical coverage begins on January 16th, your HSA will begin on February 1st. If your medical coverage begins on February 1st, your HSA will also begin on February 1st.
Reminder | The Default - No HSA
All new employees must submit a form for coverage - even if they are opting out - within their first 30 days of employment or they will be defaulted into the Basic Health Plan, Basic Dental Plan, and Vision Plan for employee-only coverage.
If no form is submitted, you will not have access to an HSA unless you experience a life event or enroll 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 can start, stop, or change their HSA contributions at any time. You do not need to experience a life event to make these changes. To make changes, complete the Life Event Changes Form.
Please note - if you are wanting to make additional changes outside of the HSA, these must be made within conjunction of a life event. Review the life event webpage for more information.
HSA Updates Only
You can submit a new HSA Enrollment/Change Form at any time to update your HSA contributions.
New Employees and/or Life Events
If you are a new employee, or are experiencing a life event, you can update the HSA directly in the New Employee Health Care Form or the Life Event Changes Form. You do not need to do a separate form for the HSA.
Bank of America
The university's HSAs are managed by Bank of America. An HSA allows you to:
- Set aside a portion of your income pre-tax
- Request tax-free withdrawals from your account to reimburse yourself when you experience a qualified expense
An HSA is a valuable addition to your HDHP because:
- The HSA has a higher pre-tax contribution limit compared to the Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HC FSA)
- Unused funds remain in your account and can accrue interest, allowing you to save 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 your account balance, submit receipts, and even invest your 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.
Review the information below to understand how the HSA works.
You can use your HSA for your 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 you are needing qualifies for the HSA.
After Each Payroll Deduction
Funds are available as they are deposited into your account via payroll deduction.
This account provides tax savings allowing employees to contribute to the HSA with pre-tax dollars.
The HSA can work as a supplemental retirement account. These funds are yours. They roll over from year to year, you will take them when you leave the university or retire, and you can use them for any purchases after age 65 (not just medical related). This is an excellent long-term planning tool.
Once you reach $1,000 in your HSA, you can begin to invest in the market. This will allow for additional growth on the funds. The university is not able to provide investment advice and strongly suggest that employees speak with a financial advisor when investing in the market.
Individual (meaning you cover only yourself on the HDHP)
$3.850 for an individual
Family (meaning you cover yourself 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 your FIP that you have not legally adopted.
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 your identity is confirmed with Bank of America, you will automatically be sent a debit card to use at the point of sale.
Debit cards are not required. You may reimburse yourself by logging into your Bank of America account and submitting a claim for reimbursement directly.
The HSA funds do not expire and you will always have access to them - even after you separate from the university.
Investing for your Future
Another way to maximize your HSA is to take advantage of the investment option. This feature of your HSA allows you the opportunity to invest in a wide variety of mutual funds to help your balance grow over time and save for health care expenses down the road. There are two ways to invest your HSA funds: recurring and one time transfers.
Recurring Automatic Transfers
You establish a cash threshold that suites your needs. As you make contributions and withdrawals, money will automatically be transferred between your investment and cash accounts.
One Time Manual Transfers
Once your HSA balance reaches $1,000, you can make transactions between your cash and investment accounts whenever you want .
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 your HSA funds, visit Bank of America's HSA Learn Site or view the HSA for Life flyer.
Confirming your Identity
Bank of America will send you a welcome packet to your HR address on file. This will include instructions on how to confirm your identity and open your HSA with Bank of America. If you do not confirm your identity, Bank of America will automatically close your HSA and return funds back to you. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are having issues completing your identity verification or if you have experienced an account closer and need to restart the HSA process.
When to expect your first deposit
Once you enroll in an HSA and confirm your identity with Bank of America, your information and biweekly payroll deductions will be sent to Bank of America for processing. Since we are required to start the HSA on the first of the month, and, since we pay 2 weeks in arrears, it is common to expect a delay before Bank of America receives your information and your first deposit. For example, if you became 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 your 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.
UA has several resources available to employees who need assistance. Review the options below to be sure you are directing your questions correctly. When in doubt, please email email@example.com and we will be sure to direct you.
Bank of America | Call the number on the back of your 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?