Creative pairings of HSAs with other benefits can result in better benefits and coverage, and can also set you apart from competitors. Here are three of the best pairings in the marketplace, as seen by Amy O'Meara Chambers, JD, AVP, Market Development for Priority Health.
- Wellness programs - Some employers link their wellness program rewards with their HSA. Instead of giving individuals taxable cash or gift cards, the rewards for exercising, getting an annual check-up, etc., come in the form of extra, tax-free dollars in the employee's HSA.
- Supplemental disease and accident benefits - Some individuals are nervous that they will not have the money to pay their high deductible if something happens to them or a loved one. Policies that cover accidents, specific diseases or hospital stays (think AFLAC) can be a great complement to HSAs. For example, break a leg, the policy pays out and helps you pay your high deductible. Regulations allow such insurance policies to coexist with HSAs.
- Limited Purpose FSAs - There is a special type of Flexible Spending Account that can be used with HSAs. These limited-purpose FSAs cover only dental, vision and preventive care. Once an employee reaches his or her deductible, it can cover any medical expenses above that deductible. For those individuals who are looking to put away as much money as possible on a pre-tax basis, they can fill up their HSA first - maxing out the annual contribution limit - and then put money away for dental and vision expenses that will be incurred during the plan year in their Limited Purpose FSA. Deferrals to the HSA and the Limited Purpose FSA would both be on a pre-tax basis. You just have to be careful to use all the limited purpose FSA dollars in that plan year as they are use-it or lose-it programs.