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Build a healthy hoard with a Health Savings Account

Health Savings Account (HSA) is more than just a convenient way to pay for health care expenses — it’s a tool to reduce annual tax liability while building a healthy hoard of savings for an employees’ retirement security and long-term health for the future.

Unlike a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), which requires users to spend their saved balance each year or forfeit their remaining balance, an HSA is a tool to keep, grow and protect pre-tax money for as long as they like. The money stays put, even if an employee leaves the University of Colorado in any capacity, until they spend it on qualified health care or prescription costs.

Plus, account holders can even choose to invest their HSA funds to grow their balance beyond their direct contributions.

An HSA is a flexible and valuable tool, especially for those who currently have modest health care needs and don’t usually have enough tax-exempt expenses in a year to justify itemizing their tax deductions. With an HSA, employees can make sure they’re getting the tax relief they deserve on their medical costs.

When can I sign up?

The University of Colorado’s HSA is open only to employees enrolled in CU’s High Deductible medical plan.

This year’s HSA Open Enrollment runs from 8 a.m. MST Wednesday, Nov. 15, to 5 p.m. MST Friday, Dec. 8 and features increased contribution limits for the 2024 calendar year.

Employees can enroll or update their contributions at any point in the year. However, HSA Open Enrollment is a great time for eligible employees to conveniently enroll or for current HSA enrollees to reassess their savings needs and capacity for the new tax year.

All these changes can be made through the employee portal during open enrollment. The rest of the year, the only way to start, stop or change HSA contributions is by submitting the HSA Authorization Form to Employee Services.

What’s changing with Health Savings Account?

The 2024 contribution limits for individuals and families are increasing:

  • Individual contribution limit has increased by $300 to $4,150.
  • Individual contribution limit for age 55 and older increased to $5,150.
  • Family contribution limit has increased by $550 to $8,300.
  • Family contribution limit for age 55 and older increased to $9,300.

One other change this year includes the expansion of health plan availability to Graduate Medical Education residents. Anyone in the GME population who elected to enroll in CU Health Plan — High Deductible is eligible to use an HSA. If any GME residents joined the high deductible plan during spring open enrollment but didn’t establish an HSA, this open enrollment period is an opportunity to do so quickly and easily through the employee portal.

How can eligible employees sign up?

Learn more about HSAs, qualified expenses and how to enroll on the Employee Service website.

By taking action during HSA Open Enrollment, employees can ensure that their changes will be made effective Jan. 1 and their contributions can be evenly distributed throughout the year.

If current HSA members would like to make a catch-up contribution for 2023, they can also make a lump sum contribution by submitting the HSA Authorization Form to Employee Services by Dec. 8, 2023.

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