For questions that relate to health savings accounts in the USA and health spending accounts in Canada, and any similar accounts in other jurisdictions. Must include an appropriate country tag.
In the USA, an HSA is a Health Savings Account. It is a medical savings account available to taxpayers who are enrolled in a high or ultra-high deductible health plan (UDHP). Funds contributed to an HSA are not subject to federal income tax at the time of deposit. Unlike a flexible spending account (FSA), funds roll over and accumulate year to year if not spent. HSAs are owned by the individual, which differentiates them from company-owned Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA). HSA funds may be used to pay for qualified medical expenses at any time without federal tax liability or penalty. Medications cannot be paid with HSA dollars without a doctor's prescription. Withdrawals for non-medical expenses provide tax advantages only if taken after retirement age.
In Canada, health spending accounts are Self-insured Private Health Services Plan (PHSP) benefits arranged by employers for their employees residing in Canada. Health Spending Accounts can be utilized to supplement Insured Private Health Services Plans, or implemented as "stand-alone" plans instead.