I have had an HSA account that I used to contribute to for my HDHP plan through my employer.

This year I am on my wife's HDHP plan through her employer.

Does this mean I can no longer contribute to the HSA that I had?

For the $7,000 contribution limit for family HSA plans, does this mean my wife creates an HSA for both us or does she just mention it's for a family plan on an individual HSA?

2 Answers 2


Even if you are allowed to contribute to your existing HSA, you will receive the best tax benefit by making contributions through a payroll deduction. The IRS says that contributions to an HSA can be from the employer, from the employee through payroll deduction, or from a contribution directly to the account.

Your employer is unlikely to make an HSA contribution if you don't have a high deductible heath plan with them. They also are unlikely to allow you to make a contribution pre-tax from your paycheck, because they don't know that you are eligible o you are not getting the insurance through them.

Making a contribution from your bank account into the HSA would be more costly because the contribution while being tax deductible, will not escape social security and FICA. That means that you will still be "taxed" 7.65% on the contribution.

Having the contribution made from your wife's paycheck will save the most in taxes.

The good news is that you can spend from either account. Some HSA programs allow the funds to be saved in either a savings account, or an investment account. This means if there are no plans to spend those funds it can make sense to try maximize the growth of the funds. Of course investments have risk.

  • Excellent point that I didn't think to mention.
    – Craig W
    Oct 31, 2019 at 12:55
  • if he employer doesnt allow the payroll deducation, they dont partner with an HSA its for the employees to figure out on their own. Is this a moot point? You would get those pretax benifits come time when you file your taxes no? Or do you miss out entirely because the employer isnt doing it pretax? Oct 31, 2019 at 15:13
  • 1
    If it isn't a payroll deduction, then social security and FICA is withheld. The income tax savings will still happen when you file, but you won't get social security and FICA back. Oct 31, 2019 at 15:29
  • You might want to note, conversely, this does mean you could potentially get a larger social security check doing it that way. As the income is still considered income for social security rules. While a payroll deduction isnt.
    – Vality
    Oct 31, 2019 at 16:56

From the IRS:

Rules for married people. If either spouse has family HDHP coverage, both spouses are treated as having family HDHP coverage. ... [T]he contribution limit is split equally between the spouses unless you agree on a different division.

So for 2019, you and your wife have a combined HSA limit of $7,000. You can decide to split that however you want--you contribute all $7,000, she contributes all $7,000, you each contribute $3,500, or anything in between. Which of you owns the HSA is irrelevant.

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