Got HSA questions? The HSA Squad can help members and employers with HSA FAQs Skip to content

Got HSA questions? The HSA Squad can help members and employers with HSA FAQs

Picture of the HealthEquity HSA Squad, three women benefits professionals answer questions about Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) during open enrollment and beyond.

The air is growing crisper, the wind is picking up, and open enrollment season is here again. Your organization has done its prep work and you’ve got a great benefits program to help your employees live the healthy and financially secure lives they deserve.

But as exciting as open enrollment is, it can be just as stressful or intimidating for your employees. Benefits can be confusing—especially Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). A recent survey from Visa indicated that three in four people not enrolled in HSAs know nothing about the accounts, and a full 92% of current HSA members are eager to hear more.

That leads to a lot of questions for human resources (HR) and benefits leaders. But there’s no need to worry—HealthEquity has a new line of defense for benefits professionals to help digest HSA information and answer member questions in an engaging way. And they come with ready smiles!

The HealthEquity HSA Squad can answer all your HSA questions

Meet the HealthEquity HSA Squad! Three HealthEquity teammates and HSA professionals from around our company have banded together to help advance HSA education and the general cause of health and financial wellness.

Nicky Brown, VP Public Policy and Government Affairs; Sofia Briceno, Learning Specialist; and Melissa Phillips, SVP Client Service Experience are experienced, friendly, and passionate about helping everyone live their best and healthiest lives.

The HSA Squad offers answers to common questions about HSAs through HealthEquity social channels. They start with a goal of answering one to two questions each week via video and will continue the conversation wherever audiences need.

Say hello to the squad!

Scroll down towards the end of this post to learn more about who Nicky, Sofia, and Melissa are as professionals and as people.

Open enrollment 2023 is easy with the HSA Squad by your side

With the busy schedule and high demands of open enrollment season, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But you can count on HealthEquity and the HSA Squad for help.

Our latest research on financial literacy, conducted with research firm 8Acre, revealed that HealthEquity members are more educated on HSAs than their peers elsewhere in the marketplace. HealthEquity members rate their understanding of HSAs higher than their peers do, and they outperformed them on a quiz regarding basic HSA facts. And all that education is correlated with higher enrollment—surveys conducted after HealthEquity webinars indicate a nine in 10 likelihood of signing up for an HSA.

You’re used to receiving that quality education through HealthEquity resources like Remark Blog, which will continue to provide easy-to-read answers to HSA questions and guides about the most essential HSA facts.

Now, throughout open enrollment, you can tune in to your favorite HealthEquity social channel to hear from the HSA Squad as well. With HSA Squad content, you’ll get answers to common benefits questions that will enhance your efforts, as well as videos you can easily share with your people to keep them informed and engaged.

Catch the HSA Squad on:

LinkedIn: @HealthEquity

Facebook: @HealthEquityPage

YouTube: @GoHealthEquity

Check out the latest HSA Q&A from the HSA Squad

Interested in a taste of what the HSA Squad has to offer? Kick your open enrollment season off right by checking out their latest work answering some frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding HSAs.

Q. What’s the difference between an HSA and a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

A. Nicky explains that both accounts are tax-advantaged ways to pay for healthcare. But while HSAs are individually owned and can follow you from job to job, FSAs are owned by the employer offering the benefit. She also reviews how funds roll over and how savings are accumulated. This video is a good reminder to your employees that FSA funds are use-it-or-lose-it and expire at the end of each plan year, while HSA funds never expire. For more information, read about FSA re-election reminders and other tips.

Q. How much can be contributed to my HSA in 2023? How long do I have to make that contribution?

A. In 2023, employees enrolled in an individual health plan can contribute up to $1,500, while those enrolled in a family plan can contribute up to $3,000. Those 55 and older can contribute an extra $1,000. Employees can make those contributions until the tax filing deadline in 2024.

To learn more, check out the HealthEquity information on HSA contributions limits and guidelines for 2023 and 2024 and browse planning tips for 2024.

Q. How much can you contribute to your HSA if your employer is also contributing to the account?

A. Melissa tells us that you must subtract your employer’s contributions from the total maximum HSA contribution limit for the year, and make sure your personal contributions don’t exceed that amount. She also discusses the advantage of catch-up contributions for those 55 and older.

Q. Who gets to benefit from your HSA funds? Is it limited to only the account holder?

A. Sofia gives us the great news—your HSA funds can go towards yourself, your spouse, and any tax dependents.

Q. What will happen to my HSA account if I switch to a non-high deductible health plan (HDHP) plan in the future?

A. Sofia lets us know that we can always withdraw our HSA funds to pay for qualified medical expenses, but we’ll no longer be able to contribute to our HSA while we’re on the non-HDHP plan. She also gives us some additional important items to keep in mind.

Q. What are my options for doing a catch-up contribution? Can I pay it in a lump sum or pay over time?

A. This is an important topic. The HSA Squad produced two videos on this subject.

Melissa walks us through all our options for making catch-up contributions. She explains how catch-up contributions can be made any time of year if you are 55 years or older. Watch the video to learn how to communicate with your HSA provider and how to report it on your tax return—these contributions are tax deductible.

Then, Nicky tells us how it works when you have a spouse. Listen to her explanation of the rules for eligible individuals and whether your spouse can pitch in on top of your catch-up contribution.

Here are a few more common HSA questions we can answer while we’re at it…

Q. Will I be able to contribute more in 2024? I want to be sure I get the most tax savings.

A. Yes! 2024 HSA contribution limits are increasing to $4,150 for people enrolled in self-only coverage and $8,300 for people enrolled in family coverage. Again, those 55 and older can contribute an additional $1,000 as a catch-up contribution.

And remember, you must combine your employer contributions with your personal contributions to ensure you’re maxing out your annual contributions without going over the limit.

Q. What happens to my money if I don’t use it by the end of the year? Do I get to keep it, or do I lose it all?

A. You own your HSA forever. That means there are no use-it-or-lose-it rules, and you get to keep your HSA funds until you decide to spend them. When the calendar year turns over, you can go right on adding to your funds, spending them, or saving them for a rainy day—and even retirement.

Q. At what point can I invest my HSA? Where can members find more information about HSA investment options?

A. Check with your HSA investment service provider to see when you can invest your HSA funds. Your service provider may have a minimum account balance necessary to begin investing.

Q. Do I need to designate a beneficiary for my HSA? If the beneficiary of my HSA is my spouse, is it transferred as an HSA? If the beneficiary is a non-spouse, what happens?

A. When you open an HSA, you have the option to name a beneficiary. This person will inherit the money in your HSA if you pass away.

If the beneficiary is your spouse:

  • They will automatically become the owner of your HSA after your death.
  • They can continue to contribute to the account and make tax-free distributions to pay for qualified medical expenses.
  • They can transfer the money to their own HSA, if they have one.

If the beneficiary is not your spouse:

  • They will receive a taxable distribution of the money in your HSA.
  • They will have to pay income tax on the amount they receive, but they will not have to pay a penalty tax.
  • They can use the money to pay for qualified medical expenses, but they cannot contribute to the account or make tax-free distributions.

It’s important that you choose a beneficiary carefully. If you’re married, it’s generally best to name your spouse as the beneficiary, allowing them to continue using the money in your HSA to pay for their qualified medical expenses.

Q. Where can I easily find a list of qualified medical expenses I can pay for with my HSA?

A. There are many qualified medical expenses you can pay for with your HSA funds. Check out this easy-to-use list of qualified medical expenses on the HealthEquity site.

Getting to better know the members of the HSA Squad

You’ve had a chance to hear from our three HSA Squad members on some top HSA questions, but we’re also here to introduce you to the squad as people.

We sat down with Nicky, Sofia, and Melissa to learn a little more about what makes them tick by asking them four quick questions.


Nicky Brown
How did you get started in the benefits space?

I entered the benefits industry 21 years ago, shifting my focus to the administrative side after departing from Laboratory Corporation of America. I was fortunate to receive an opportunity to collaborate with employers and their employees, handling COBRA and FSA-related matters. I haven’t looked back and I’m still loving what I do.

What motivated you to join the HSA Squad?

The motivation that led me to join the HSA Squad is my enthusiasm and eagerness to educate and dispel myths about HSAs. Educating on the benefits of an HSA, who is eligible, the tax advantages involved, and the savings for healthcare expenses or the potential for long-term savings is paramount to help provide financial security for unexpected medical expenses, reducing the financial stress associated with healthcare cost.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since you started filming for HSA Squad?

To ensure the information is concise, consumable, and delivered enthusiastically. Brief information is easier to understand, and it reduces the risk of confusion. Plus, I now know how to use a ring light for filming. I feel so cool.

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

I immensely enjoy shopping and working on house design projects. For me, the term retail therapy means REAL happiness.


Sofia Briceno
How did you get started in the benefits space?

I have always gravitated to healthcare. I was a medical clinic receptionist, a dental assistant, and an orthodontic assistant. This allowed me to understand healthcare benefits. Once I started at HealthEquity in Member Services, I was heavily trained in the consumer-directed benefits we offer. This is where my knowledge base grew tremendously. That path led me to my current role, which has allowed me to specifically focus on consumer-directed benefits education.  

What motivated you to join the HSA Squad?

I’m passionate about education. It brings me joy when members learn more about the benefits they are offered, and how they can take advantage of them. Joining the HSA Squad has allowed me to continue this journey in education on a much larger scale. 

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since you started filming for HSA Squad?

Many HSA facts that are common knowledge to us as benefits professionals can be brand new information to someone else. I am learning to find ways to share this information in a short amount of time (60 seconds), while still grabbing the attention of the audience and indicating the most important key takeaways. I’m so glad we have unlimited retakes! 

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

I’m on a movie kick right now! My husband and I spent six hours in one day at the movie theater, watching two films back-to-back! It has been so fun watching movies outside of my typical genre, as well as watching very popular movies that are taking over social media. Not only am I going to the movie theater to watch, I also host or attend movie nights. It’s a blast!  


Melissa Phillips

How did you get started in the benefits space?

I was working for American Express at the time and received a call to come check out this little company called HealthEquity with only 40 team members. I was excited about bringing my background to a startup company that was focused on improving the health and financial wellbeing of consumers. This is now my 18th year in this space, and I still love it. 

What motivated you to join the HSA Squad?

I’m passionate about building savings and investing those dollars for the future. Friends and family continuously ask questions about HSAs, and I’m always caught off guard by the limited knowledge of HSAs that some still have. The HSA Squad is a great way to keep sharing what I see as such an incredible savings vehicle. 

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since you started filming for HSA Squad?

Providing enough detail in 60 seconds or less and doing my best to have it come across seamlessly is not an easy task. I have so much more respect for the influencer community and anyone that chooses to put themselves out there. 

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

I’m currently in the process of building a new house. Outside of work, you can find me searching for lighting, plumbing fixtures, making design and building decisions, and analyzing the schedule. I love finding a good deal. Spending time outdoors is also high on my list. 

Look out for the HSA Squad through open enrollment and beyond

We hope you enjoyed getting to know the benefits professionals on the HealthEquity HSA Squad and hearing what they have to say. They’ll be here throughout open enrollment to help you answer questions and engage your employees.

But education doesn’t stop after open enrollment. Even seasoned HSA members have questions and want to learn more about their accounts. Be sure to tune in on social media to continue engaging with the HSA Squad as your people use their accounts, build their balances, and encounter both challenges and growth opportunities.

And if you have a question yourself—be sure to get in touch! The HSA Squad is here on stand-by.

HealthEquity does not provide legal, tax or financial advice.

Investments are subject to risk, including the possible loss of the principal invested and are not FDIC or NCUA insured, or guaranteed by HealthEquity, Inc. HealthEquity, Inc. does not provide investment advice. HealthEquity Advisors, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of HealthEquity, Inc. and an SEC-registered investment adviser, provides web-based investment advice to HSA holders that subscribe for its services (minimum thresholds and additional fees apply). Registration does not imply endorsement by any state or agency and does not imply a level of skill, education, or training. Investing may not be suitable for everyone and before making any investments, review the fund’s prospectus.

Thank you for subscribing!

Thank you for subscribing!

Are you a business?

Talk to us today to get started.

Talk to us

Are you an individual?

Start building health savings today.

Open account

COBRA/Direct Bill Employer login

Please refer to your Client Welcome email for the URL of your specific COBRA/Direct Bill Employer login page.