Health accounts can help you save

There are several different types of integrated accounts including health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

Your employer may have selected a health care account plan.

Whichever type is available to you, you can be assured that Providence Health Plan, along with our partner HealthEquity, is committed to ensuring that your enrollment, billing and claims are seamless.

Health savings accounts (HSA)

HSAs are like a bank account where money is deposited – by you, your employer and even your family members – to be used for your current and future health care expenses. Contributions can be deducted pretax from your paycheck, and the money rolls over year to year and stays with you even with job changes and retirement.

Advantages include:

  • Significant tax savings for you
  • Great flexibility, choice and control – you get to decide how your health care dollars are used
  • Completely portable and travels with you even you retire or change jobs
  • No "use it or lose it" component – it rolls over year to year and belongs to you
  • Empowers you to be a wise health care consumer

Health reimbursement arrangements (HRA)

HRAs are accounts owned by your employer to help you and your family members pay for qualifying medical expenses - such as deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and sometimes additional expenses such as dental and vision care. You do not contribute to your HRA; it is fully funded by your employer.

Advantages include:

  • Can be used in conjunction with almost any medical plan
  • Provides a cost-effective solution for you and your family
  • Helps provide incentives for healthy choices and behaviors

Flexible spending accounts (FSA)

Generally, there are two types of FSAs – a dependent care FSA and a health care FSA. FSAs allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars from your paycheck to help pay for qualified expenses throughout the year. This includes deductibles, copays and coinsurance. It also can include dental and vision care, hearing aids, over-the-counter medicines and other IRS-approved medical expenses. Also available are limited purpose flexible spending accounts, which can act as a bridge to reimburse you for dental and vision care.

Advantages include:

  • Makes it convenient for you to set aside pre-tax dollars
  • Tax savings, since you set aside pre-tax dollars from your paycheck for medical expenses throughout the year
  • Choice and flexibility in how much you set aside and how your health care dollars are spent

For more information about health accounts, call our partner, HealthEquity. Customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year at 866-346-5800.

Use your health care account to pay for or get reimbursed for a variety of medical goods and services and some health insurance premiums for select accounts. See the complete list of qualified and unqualified medical expenses in IRS Publication 502-Medical and Dental Expenses (PDF).

Examples of qualified medical expenses

  • Acupuncture
  • Alcoholism (rehab, transportation for medically advised attendance at AA)
  • Ambulance
  • Amounts covered under another health plan
  • Annual physical examination
  • Artificial limbs/teeth
  • Birth control pills/prescription contraceptives
  • Body scans
  • Breast reconstruction surgery
  • Chiropractor
  • Contact lenses
  • Crutches
  • Dental treatments
  • Eyeglasses/eye surgery
  • Hearing aids
  • Home care
  • Long-term care expenses
  • Medicines (prescribed, not imported from other countries)
  • Nursing home
  • Nursing services
  • Optometrist
  • Oxygen
  • Stop-smoking programs
  • Surgery
  • Telephone equipment and repair for hearing-impaired
  • Therapy
  • Transplants
  • Weight-loss program (if prescribed by a physician for a specific disease)
  • Wheelchairs
  • Wigs (if prescribed)

Examples of non-qualified medical expenses

  • Babysitting, child care, and nursing services for a normal, healthy baby (may qualify under a dependent-care FSA)
  • Dancing lessons
  • Diaper service
  • Elective cosmetic surgery
  • Electrolysis or hair removal
  • Funeral expenses
  • Future medical care
  • Hair transplants
  • Health club dues
  • Insurance premiums other than those explicitly included
  • Medicines and drugs from other countries
  • Nonprescription drugs, medicines, and supplements (unless prescribed)
  • Nutritional supplements, unless recommended by a medical practitioner as treatment for a specific medical condition diagnosed by a physician
  • Teeth whitening

The penalty for using HSA funds for non-qualified medical expenses is 20 percent. Keep all itemized receipts and copies of prescriptions for over-the-counter medications in case of an IRS audit.