Here is the scenario: I am about to retire from the state of CA, but I will retain my State of CA health insurance (PPO--Anthem PERS Gold). I am going back to federal employment, and I have several options in front of me, including a comparable insurance with Blue Cross, as well as a couple of HSA/HRA options. I will be the primary on both insurances, have a spouse and two children covered (for now) under the State health insurance. What is my best option here? The copays/costs between the two Blue Cross policies is comparable. I am wondering if I am even eligible for a HSA or HRA policy with the federal government.

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    you may be eligible for policy, but not eligible for HSA because of the other lower deductible coverage you still have
    – littleadv
    Feb 27, 2023 at 18:03
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    why do you want dual coverage? are both policies free? Feb 27, 2023 at 18:27
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    Note that if two policies are providing the same coverage to the same person, you need to work with them to designate one as primary and one as secondary.... assuming they are willing to do that
    – keshlam
    Feb 27, 2023 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


You are not eligible for an HSA if you have other low-deductible insurance coverage.

OPM has an FAQ here

Who is eligible for an HSA? You must participate in a High Deductible Health Plan, have no other insurance coverage other than those specifically allowed...

IRS Pub 502 has all the specific rules for HSAs.

Do you actually need this additional insurance? If you have insurance from CA through some sort of pension plan then it might make more sense to just waive the FEHB (fed insurance) and not spend money on the premiums.

Note that you might still be able to get the high-deductible insurance, just not use the HSA. But the HSA is kind of a big part of why you would choose a HDHP in the first place...

  • THanks all for your responses! I particularly appreciate the help and verification of my understanding of the ineligibility of getting an HSA. Major bummer. The pension plan insurance is free, the other is not but is a pretty minimal cost in terms of premium. I can also cancel it by the end of the year if needed, during open season. Feb 28, 2023 at 18:42

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