What are the differences between a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and a HSA?

A healthcare flexible spending account (FSA) allows employees to be reimbursed for medical expenses. An FSA is usually funded through voluntary salary contributions. No employment or federal income taxes are deducted from your contribution.

The most important difference between the FSA and the HSA is that any remaining balance in the HSA rolls over at the end of the year. You can only carry over a maximum of $500 in your FSA account at the end of the year. Any unused funds beyond the carry over amount of $500 will be forfeited.

To access money in your HSA or FSA, simply use the debit card provided by PayFlex. If you elect to add your own funds to your HSA through monthly payroll you can use only the amount that is actually in the account, not the amount that you “pledge” for the year as with the FSA. 

Funds availability
• Healthcare FSA – The full amount of funds that you pledge during the fall annual enrollment period are available on January 1st of the next year and may be used immediately.
• Limited purpose FSA (L-FSA) - The full amount of funds that you pledge during the fall annual enrollment period are available on January 1st of the next year and may be used immediately.
• Dependent care FSA (DC-FSA) – Only the amount of funds taken from your paycheck each pay period and deposited into your DC-FSA are available. Your full DC-FSA pledge is not available for use at the beginning of the year, and you may only use funds that have actually been deposited into your account. Debit card is not available for use on the DC-FSA.
• Health Savings Account (HSA) – Only the amount of funds taken from your paycheck each pay period and any employer contributions that have actually been deposited into your HSA are available. Your full HSA pledge is not available for use at the beginning of the year, and you may only use funds that have been deposited into your account.

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