Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

Types of Tax-Favored Arrangements

What is an HSA?

An HSA is the newest of all tax-favored medical savings plans. An HSA is a tax-exempt trust or custodial account that a taxpayer sets up with a qualified HSA trustee. Distributions from an HSA are nontaxable if the funds are used for qualified medical expenses. A taxpayer must be an eligible individual to qualify to contribute to an HSA.

No permission or authorization from the IRS is necessary to establish an HSA. To set up an HSA a taxpayer will need to work with a trustee. A qualified HSA trustee can be a bank, an insurance company, or anyone already approved by the IRS to be a trustee of an individual retirement arrangement (IRA) or Archer MSA. The HSA can be established through a trustee that is different from the taxpayer's health plan provider.

An HSA is created by:

  • Enrolling in a High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and then
  • Opening a tax-exempt trust or custodial account, with a qualified HSA trustee, to pay for qualified medical expenses