Consumer Guide: Health Spending Accounts
Health spending accounts help people save money to pay for medical costs. These accounts offer tax benefits. There are rules on who can have the account, when and how much you can add to the account, and more. Learn more about common types:
- Health Savings Accounts (HSA)—These have replaced Archer Medical Savings Accounts. They are offered to people who work for themselves and to employers of all sizes. To have this type of account, you must also have a high-deductible health plan.
- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)—These don't require a high-deductible health plan. They aren't offered to people who work for themselves.
- Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)—These don't require a high-deductible health plan. They aren't offered to people who work for themselves.
Where to start
Before you choose and set up a health spending account, first figure out the type of account you can get. Then think about whether it's helpful for you to sign up.
The Internal Revenue Service has a resource that explains each type of account and its benefits. View Publication 969 (2021), Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans.