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I am on my employer provided HDHP with an HSA and have been for 4 years. I have only contributed to my HSA account for a few months last year. I never go to doctors.

Our new H/R person is now telling us we have to contribute to the HSA account. Is this true ? I live in Colorado id that helps. If anyone can advise or tell em who to talk to b/c I'm not convinced this is correct.

Thanks, GW

  • Is there a particular reason you don't want to contribute anything? This might have to do with fees the HSA bank is charging. – quid Oct 17 '17 at 23:57
  • I am not making enough money right now and I never go to doctors. – GWC Oct 18 '17 at 0:00
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    Saving in HSA is a pretty good way to invest money, long term. If you can't or don't want to, sure, but otherwise it is good plan. – Aganju Oct 18 '17 at 0:56
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The first place to look is the documents you received during open season or soon after you signed up for the account.

I haven't run into a company that required an employee to put funds in. In fact one of the benefits of the program is that you aren't locked into $x a paycheck. You can front load during the early part of the year, or increase the amount withheld after you get a raise, or for any reason. The IRS only cares about the maximum amount you can deposit during the year, and how the money is disbursed.

It is possible that your employer makes a contribution to your account. I could see management only wanting to do that for employees that are actively funding the account. If that is the case there should be memos from HR/management explaining that.

It is also possible that the new HR person has confused the FSA and a flex spending plan. It is also possible that the company will be eliminating the plan for next year, and they were trying to tell you to make your deposits now, because you won't be able to next year.

If you can't find a minimum contribution mentioned in the documents/emails then ask HR for clarification. If there is a minimum then that number or percentage has to be written somewhere. Also if there was a minimum you would think that the system would automatically force the deduction from your paycheck, and there would be paperwork you signed acknowledging it.

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making contributions to an HSA is optional. It is a wise idea to contribute. You might not go to doctors now, but you probably will go to a doctor at some point in your life. Better to use un-taxed money to pay the doctor bill, or dentist bill, eye care, or whatever covered expense you encounter over the course of your life.

Given the paltry amounts that one can contribute on a yearly basis, I would recommend putting as much as possible every year into your HSA. You can go through a year's contribution to your HSA with one emergency room visit.

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    The question here is, is there a rule that says an employer can force participation? – quid Oct 18 '17 at 4:19
  • Yes, but doesn't HSA money expire within a fairly short time (short=1 year) after you contribute it? If HSA money was forever I'd pour it in and use it for my eldercare, but I'm pretty sure "use it or lose it" is an accurate description. – Harper Oct 19 '17 at 0:56
  • @Harper, no. That's an FSA. HSA is a savings account that requires an HDHP enrollment. FSA is a spending arrangement between you and your employer where you can spend your employer's money up to your contribution election before you've even contributed it. They are different. – quid Oct 19 '17 at 2:27

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