I'll be starting an HSA for the first time on Feb. 1. I have significant medical bills for treatment in December.

Can I deposit money into the HSA on Feb. 1 and then use the HSA to pay the bills for treatment in December? Or can I only use the HSA to treatment after the HSA was started?


2 Answers 2


I don't think so.


In order for a medical expense to be eligible for reimbursement from a Health Savings Account (HSA), the expense must have been incurred after the opening of your HSA account.


Definitely not, according to IRS Publication 969 which has all the rules for an HSA. It states:

You can receive tax-free distributions from your HSA to pay or be reimbursed for qualified medical expenses you incur after you establish the HSA.

If you withdraw for an expense that is not "qualified" you will face extra (in addition to normal income) taxes on the amount. In the next section it clearly says:

For HSA purposes, expenses incurred before you establish your HSA aren’t qualified medical expenses.

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