Am I understanding things properly that HSA's allow arbitrary annual contribution changes mid-year so long as they are within the maximum amount for that year while for FSA accounts you elect your contribution once at the active open enrollment period and not again till the next open enrollment period. That is FSA's can be changed once a year unless a qualifying life event should occur that would otherwise allow changing your FSA elections mid-year.

1 Answer 1


Yes, you’ve got it more or less right.

The HSA is a personal account that you can contribute to whenever you like (up to your contribution limit). There doesn’t need to be any set schedule for these contributions.

The FSA is not really a personal account; it is an arrangement between you and your employer. Your employer has agreed to pay a certain amount of your health expenses, and you have agreed to pay for this tax-free benefit out of each paycheck over the course of the year. Once you purchase this plan from the employer, you are usually stuck with it for the year. Many FSA plans, however, do allow for changes mid-year if you have qualifying event in your life (such as change in marital status or the birth of a child). You can ask your employer if you think this may apply to you.

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