I have researched that if a COBRA plan is a HDHP, one can continue to contribute to their HSA.

How would one contribute to HSA pre-tax if laid-off?


Would the HSA contributions be deducted on tax-return, reducing taxable income?

  • "How would one contribute to HSA pre-tax if laid-off?" Very carefully! (And with "emergency fund" money.) I'd only do it if my HSA balance was low and I knew that there would soon be medical expenses.
    – RonJohn
    Aug 10 at 13:28

HSA contributions are handled on Form 8889 as part of the tax return.

On the form, Line 2 is where you put anything that you sent in directly to your HSA with your own after-tax money. Line 9 is where you put anything that your employer has sent in for you, either from employer contributions or your own contribution through payroll deduction before-tax. The Line 2 contributions, assuming that you are eligible and have not gone over any limits, are deducted from your taxable income on your tax return.

Once you are no longer employed, you will no longer have any Line 9 contributions, but you can still send in contributions yourself directly to your HSA and take the deduction.


For the employed, an HSA (or 401(k) or other pretax retirement account) deposit comes off the top, i.e. it's deducted before taxes are withheld.

For those of us not employed, the HSA deposits are reconciled at tax time, effectively a deduction, similar to the deduction taken for a pre-tax IRA.

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