I'm currently enrolled in payflex has which doesn't roll over and constantly asks me for eobs to prove that my expenses are tax deductible. My mom told me that you can open up a HSA with your bank. What's the difference?

  • Payflex encompases a bunch of different accounts. Are you sure you have an HSA? When you say that it "doesn't roll over," it sounds like an FSA, not an HSA. FSAs need to be used up by the end of the year, or you lose the funds in the account. Is that what you have?
    – Ben Miller
    Dec 6, 2016 at 6:39

1 Answer 1


Payflex is an FSA (flexible spending account) administrator. These types of accounts have been around for quite a while and are characterized by letting you spend pre-tax dollars on qualified health care expenses. The downside as you see is that it is a user it or lose it design. With an FSA you provide documentation to the administrator and they then determine the eligibility of the expense, the benefit of that is that you don't need to retain the documentation after you have been paid.

HSA (health savings accounts) are newer and act more like a bank account as they roll from year to year. Like an FSA they enjoy the same pre-tax benefit. However here you administer your own payments so you need to maintain records showing that the reimbursements are qualified (I.e. those EOB statements). The one downside to an HSA is that they can only be used in conjunction with a high deductable health plan (essentially you are self-insuring for the base expenses and the insurance covers big ticket items, hence why the money rolls over as it is allowing years of low expenses to offset years of higher expenses).

The bottom line is since you have an FSA at work you are not eligible for an HSA. If you want an HSA you will need to change to a high deductable health care plan at the next open enrollment period (assuming that your employer offers one).

  • 1
    Note that Payflex appears to be an Aetna brand, not necessarily a FSA (though it seems to be in this case). I have an Aetna HSA with a Payflex branded debit card for accessing the funds. Dec 6, 2016 at 17:10
  • @RickGoldstein Payflex is also used by Anthem. Though it is true that they may be more than just FSA, but in this case it is the FSA aspect that is the focus of the question. Dec 7, 2016 at 0:31
  • @RickGoldstein is it possible to open an HSA not through work. I missed my enrollment period. Dec 19, 2016 at 5:20

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