Health Savings Account
Employer Q&A

1. Can employers limit HSA providers?
According to field assistance bulletin 2004-1 released by the Department of Labor (DOL), an employer may
limit the forwarding of contributions through its payroll system to a single or a limited number of financial
organizations as long as neither the employer nor the financial organizations restricts the ability of the
employee to move the assets to an HSA at another financial organization.

2. Can an employer make a matching contribution?
If an employer chooses to make contributions for one employee, the employer must generally make
comparable contributions on behalf of all eligible individuals with comparable coverage during the same
period (calendar year). Contributions are considered comparable if they are the same amount or the same
percentage of each employee’s deductible under the HDHP. The comparability rule does not apply to
contributions made through a cafeteria plan. As a result, matching contributions may be made to HSAs
through a cafeteria plan.

3. How frequently can an employee change their HSA deduction amount under a cafeteria plan?
Employees with HSAs under cafeteria plan may be allowed to change their election at any time, as long as it
is done prospectively. The employer may place additional restrictions on the contribution election as long
as the same restrictions apply to all employees.

4. Can an employer offer negative elections?
Employer may provide negative elections for HSAs offered through a cafeteria plan.

5. Can an employer recoup a contribution amount if an employee terminates?
An account beneficiary’s interest (HSA owner) in an HSA is nonforfeitable. An employer may not recoup
amounts contributed to an employee’s HSA.

6. Can an employer make accelerated contributions?
If an employee elects to make HSA contributions through an employer’s cafeteria plan, the employer may,
but is not required to, make an accelerated contribution up to the maximum amount elected by the employee
to cover qualified medical expenses incurred by the employee that exceed the employee’s current HSA
balance. Accelerated contributions must be provided to all participating employees on the same terms.

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