Health Savings Account FAQs
What is an HSA?
Who can open an HSA?
You can contribute only in calendar years in which you are covered only by an HSA-eligible high-deductible health plan (HDHP) and are not claimed as a tax dependent on someone else’s tax return. There are other more rare limitations, consult with a tax professional if you have more questions.
Who can contribute to an HSA?
The IRS restricts contributions to be made only for calendar years in which you meet two basic requirements:
- You are on a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)
- You do not have additional disqualifying coverage
Check with your employer or insurance that your health plan is HSA-eligible. Typical disqualifying coverage includes Medicare or another health insurance through your spouse that covers you and is not HSA-eligible.
PLEASE CONSULT YOUR EMPLOYER AND TAX ADVISOR TO MAKE SURE OF YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR CONTRIBUTIONS.
How much can I contribute to my HSA each year?
Zenda computes your contribution limit assuming Zenda is your only HSA and you are HSA-eligible for the full calendar year.
For 2023 the IRS contribution limits are:
- Self-only coverage: $3,850
- Family coverage: $7,750
If you will be 55 or older during the tax year, you are eligible for a $1,000 additional catch-up contribution. If your spouse is 55 or older and you have family coverage, your spouse may contribute an additional $1,000 but to a separate HSA account opened in their own name.
You can find more details on contribution limits at the IRS website here.
Will I lose my money at the end of the year?
Your HSA is your personal account and stays with you after termination of employment with all of your money in it. Contributions made by your employer are yours to keep and are not subject to vesting.
How and when can I spend my HSA funds?
The IRS requires that eligible health expenses be incurred AFTER opening your HSA account. Note that the account does not have to be funded. So, once your Zenda HSA has been opened, you can track your eligible expenses and then withdraw them from your HSA at any point in the future, tax-free.
Can I invest the money I have in my HSA?
There are three basic requirements:
- Contributions are tax-free
- Investment growth is tax-free*
- Withdrawals for medical expenses are tax-free
To get started, tap on the investments tile on the app dashboard. To learn more, we have a FAQ specifically for investments located below. You can also read more about HSA investments with Zenda here.
*Note: growth is free from Federal taxes and most states as well. Check with your state to ensure how HSAs are treated for investment growth.
Can I get an additional card for my spouse (or other authorized person)?
Of course! Using the mobile app, the primary account holder can request an authorized card anytime.
- The new card MUST BE ACTIVATED in the app by the primary card holder. Please do so after the card arrives in the mail. See below for detailed instructions.
- You can view the additional cards on the My Zenda card page by swiping to the left to see each additional card requested.
- Authorized cards are part of the primary account and as such do not receive a separate login for the app.
To get started: tap the profile icon to go to the profile screen, then tap My Zenda Card tile.
Next, hit the ‘+’ on the upper right side to add a new card, then provide the required information hit “send card” and the card will be mailed to the primary account holder address (expect 5-7 business days for delivery)
Once you have the card in your possession, you must activate it to enable in-store purchases with the card. On the My Zenda Card Screen, swipe to the left to see the newly added card(s).
Once you see the card you wish to activate, tap the activate button in the lower left.
What are prior year contributions and how do they work?
Making an additional contribution to your HSA for the previous year could help reduce the amount of Federal tax you owe. This is typically called a “prior year contribution”.
How it Works
Between January 1 and the tax filing deadline for the year (April 18, 2023, for 2022 tax filings), you may make contributions up to the maximum amount you were allowed for the prior year, provided you were eligible to contribute. This is an excellent way to help reduce taxes in your 2022 filing because in general, those contributions will not be subject to Federal taxes. Your tax preparer or tax software may even ask if you have the ability to make this kind of contribution.
Example: Let’s say you were on an HSA for all of 2022 on family coverage and your age was greater than 55. That would mean your 2021 yearly contribution limit would be: $7,300 + $1,000 catch-up = $8,300. So, if you have contributed LESS than $8,300 in the calendar year 2022, you can contribute the difference all the way up to April 18, 2023. You could realize significant tax benefits by making the contribution, not to mention leveraging the HSA’s amazing triple-tax advantages.
There’s no better way to save money and Zenda enables you to do just this in a snap! First, make sure your Zenda everyday account has enough funds in it to make the contribution. Next, open the mobile app and tap on the HSA account. Then tap Edit Contributions. Then tap Make a Contribution. Type in the amount you wish to contribute and select the right tax year. Then tap “Contribute” and you’re done!
For more information you can check out more information on contributions consult your tax advisor or from the IRS here.
I have a 401k, why should I also contribute to my HSA?
It is a good idea to save in both your 401K and your HSA. You do not pay federal income tax on both HSA and 401K contributions and investments grow free of federal tax in both HSA and 401K accounts.
The HSA is designed to pay for current health expenses as well as set aside money for future health expenses. It offers additional tax advantages and greater flexibility on withdrawals compared to 401Ks.
- HSA contributions do not incur FICA consisting of social security and medicare taxes, 401K contributions incur these taxes.
- You can withdraw money from your HSA for qualified health expenses tax-free at any time, before or after retirement. Withdrawals from your 401K are typically after retirement and incur income tax, if you withdraw from your 401K before retirement you pay additional penalties.
After age 65, you may withdraw money from your HSA for any purpose with no penalties and just pay income tax similar to a 401K. Unlike 401K’s, HSA’s are not subject to any required minimum distributions.
Your employer may offer matching contributions on your 401K and may not offer the same on your HSA. A small number of states do not exempt HSA contributions from state income tax but then will not charge state income tax when you withdraw from your HSA for non-health purposes after age 65.
Zenda does not offer tax advice and you should consult your tax advisor in making this decision.
Using Your HSA Card
What if I'm prompted to enter a PIN at checkout?
- Select “credit” on the PIN pad if that option is available.
- Press the green enter button, without entering a PIN, or any other numbers.
- If the first 2 steps don’t work, ask the cashier for assistance.
NOTE: When using your card at Walmart, you will be required to enter a PIN. They do not allow HSA or FSA cards to be used as “credit”. We recommend setting a PIN in the mobile app or website if you are a frequent Walmart shopper.
How do I set/reset my PIN?
- Navigate to the “My Card” screen.
- Select the “Change PIN” option for the appropriate card.
- Enter a 4-digit PIN, then re-enter the same 4-digit PIN and Submit.
Your PIN is now set and can be used to complete transactions.
What if my transaction is declined?
Generally, the primary reasons a card will be declined are:
- The card is not activated – For security reasons, all cards mailed to you are inactive. This ensures if your card is lost or stolen, it can’t be used. You can activate your card from the Mobile app or Website. Navigate to the “My Card” screen and select the “Activate Card” option for the appropriate card. Your card is now active and can be used for in-store and online purchases.
- Incorrect PIN – Some stores (particularly Walmart) require you to enter a PIN to use an HSA or FSA card. It’s common for people to forget their PIN. You can easily set/reset your PIN from the Mobile app or Website. See “How do I set/rest my PIN” above.
- Insufficient Funds – There may not be enough funds in your HSA account to cover the transaction. You can check your account balance form the Dashboard of the mobile app or website.
Why did I not receive a notification when my card was declined?
If you encounter such a situation, please send details of the store/merchant to email@example.com so Zenda can advise you on any known problems. Please use an alternate payment method in this instance, and reimburse your expense from the Zenda HSA app, as appropriate.
What if I lose my card?
How Zenda is Different
Why should I use Zenda?
We do this by adding intelligence right into the Zenda debit card – which is smart enough to spot medical expenses you may have missed. It is also smart enough to automatically create a proof of purchase, which is usable if you are audited by the IRS and they ask about your medical expenses. When Zenda automatically finds an expense for you, we strongly believe that our process is correct, and we stand behind it with Zenda Audit Protection (see below for more information).
Why does Zenda come with an HSA and an Everyday account?
For example, let’s say you head to the drugstore and buy aspirin, a box of band-aids, a bottle of water, and a package of potato chips. If you use the Zenda card to pay for all these (just one swipe!), then we are able to determine which of those are medical expenses and which are not. Perhaps you knew which items were eligible, or perhaps not. Either way, we spot the eligible items and get you the tax savings. This is all done in real-time and then we simply take the correct amount out of each account (HSA, Everyday) while the card pays the bill in a single transaction. Magic!
What is Zenda Audit Protection?
How can I get started with Zenda?
We are accepting interest from individuals here who want their own account without employer sponsorship – and will reach out when we make this available.
HSA Investment FAQs
Please review the following frequently asked questions to help jump-start your path to investing your HSA dollars. For a full list of all the available investment options for the Zenda HSA account, visit our partner site:
Managing Your HSA Investments
How do I get started?
Getting started with investing is easy:
- Open an account (takes 1-2 days to complete)
- Review investment options and set your future investment elections
- Transfer funds from the HSA spending account to the HSA investment account
To open an account, tap on the Investment tile on the dashboard and then tap “Open account” on the next screen. It’s that simple. In 1-2 days, your account will be open and ready for you to invest. In the meantime, you can research the investment options available to you so that you can set your elections next.
What are future investment elections, how do I set them, and why are they important?
To learn more about setting your future investment elections, visit our investment elections guide.
How do I move money from my HSA spending account to my HSA investment account?
There are two ways to transfer money into your investment account – a one-time transfer and an automated transfer. An automated transfer makes it easy to set a minimum balance in your spending account and automatically transfer any funds above this minimum. Note: your actual screens may differ slightly from the examples provided here.
To get started, from the Zenda dashboard screen, tap the investments tile.
To enable Zenda to auto-transfer money on an ongoing basis, tap the “Enable auto-transfer” toggle button, then enter the minimum amount to KEEP in your HSA spending account.
For example, if you want to make sure all your HSA is kept in investments, set the enable transfer and set the value to 0.00. If you wish to keep $200 in your spending account to handle some expenses but invest the rest, then set it to $200.00
How often is my investment balance updated?
Your investment balance is updated once per day around 5:30 PM PT on the days that the New York Stock Exchange is open. You can see the NYSE calendar here. Note that when you move money from the investment account, the money is debited from your investment account immediately and it may take 1-2 days for the money to arrive and update in the spending account.
How do I transfer money between investments in my investment account?
- Tap on Invest your HSA funds and tap Manage Portfolio.
- Tap Transfer between investments option
- On the Select Transfer Type page, tap whether to Transfer Using Dollars or Transfer Using Percentages. Note: If you wish to transfer more than 90% of the balance out of a fund, it is recommended to use the Transfer Using Percentages option.
- On the Select Transfer Source(s) page, pick which fund, or funds, to move dollars from (i.e. $150 from Fund A, $200 from Fund B, etc.) or which fund, or funds, to move percentages from (i.e. 100% of your dollars in Fund A, 50% from Fund B, etc.) and click “Continue”.
- On the Select Transfer Destinations(s) page, pick which fund, or funds, to move dollars to (i.e. $150 to Fund C, $200 to Fund D, etc.) or which fund, or funds, to move percentages from (i.e. 100% of your dollars to Fund C, 50% to Fund B, etc.) and click “Continue”.
- On the Review Your Transfer Page, review your request and click “Complete Transfer” to complete it.
How do I move money from my HSA investment account back to my HSA spending account?
- From the Investment section of the Zenda mobile app:
- Tap on Move money back to HSA and tap transfer money from HSA investments.
- Enter the dollar amount you want to transfer from your HSA investment account back to your HSA spending account.
- Tap the ‘Submit Request’ button to complete your request.
- Your HSA investments will be liquidated on a pro-rata basis based on your balance by fund to generate the cash to complete the request.
Note: Requests resulting in the liquidation of 90% or more of a mutual fund will be processed based on the number of units calculated using the previous market day’s NAV.
It can take 1-2 business days to move money from your HSA investment account into your HSA spending account.
Researching Investment Options
What investment options are available through my Zenda HSA?
In addition, if you are an experienced investor, you can open a Charles Schwab Health Savings Brokerage Account (HSBA). This allows you to invest in securities other than what is offered in the main Zenda Investment account. You can learn more below.
Can Zenda help me select the investments?
Are my investments insured by the FDIC like my Zenda spending account?
Is there a minimum amount I must invest?
Do any commissions, loads or fees apply to the mutual funds available through my HSA investment account?
To curb market timing practices, certain funds may impose short-term redemption fees or trading blocks. For information on whether a fund assesses short-term redemption fees or blocks, as well as the specifics concerning these see Investment Options and each fund’s prospectus.
What is a frequent trading policy and how do I know if a fund has one?
If you see an alert icon next to a fund when you realign your account or transfer between investments, hover over the icon to see the trading policy that applies to that fund. See the example below:
Managing Your Account
Are there fees for having an investment account?
If you open a Health Savings Brokerage Account (HSBA) through Zenda with our partner Charles Schwab, there are no fees assessed by Zenda. Charles Schwab may assess fees depending on your investment activity on that platform. Please check the account documentation if you open an HSBA.
I still have questions about the Zenda HSA investment account. Who should I contact?
HSBA Investment Guide
What is Zenda's Health Savings Brokerage Account (HSBA)?
- In order to use an HSBA, you must first open a Zenda investment account
- Opening the HSBA can be started in the Zenda app, and completed at Schwab in a few minutes
- Money can only be moved into and out of the HSBA via the Zenda investment account – transfers from other accounts are not permitted
- To move money to the HSBA, set your future elections to Charles Schwab HSBA
- To move money back to Zenda, you must first sell investments in the HSBA to create the cash pool to move. Then, you can move the funds back to Zenda.
You can also review these two documents from Schwab to help understand more:
How do I get started with my HSBA?
- Open your Zenda investment account first (see the investment section above for instructions).
- Once you have received an email notification that the Zenda investment account is open, navigate to the Invest tab in the Zenda app and tap “Open a brokerage account” at the bottom of the screen to open the section and then scroll down and tap the “Open a brokerage account” link. This will open a new page to begin the signup process for the HSBA account.
- If you already have set up a Charles Schwab HSBA account, you press the Log in button here to access your HSBA.
- If this is your first time setting up an HSBA press the Sign Up button – taking careful note of your HSA Plan ID and Plan Password as these will be used later.
- Pressing Sign Up will take you out of Zenda and to Charles Schwab to complete the process for opening the account.
- Follow the instructions at Charles Schwab to complete the account opening.
- Important information you will need:
Zenda’s HSA Plan ID = 217743
Zenda’s HSA Plan password = 7113
- You will be notified by Charles Schwab when the account is ready. Once notified, set up your Zenda Future elections for the newly created HSBA. This will automatically transfer to the Charles Schwab HSBA any funds you move your HSA spending to the HSA investment account. See the elections guide, or FAQ for more information.
- Next, move funds from your Zenda HSA spending account to the Zenda Investment account. If you have set your future elections as described above, the funds will flow automatically to your HSBA.
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*Banking services are provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. The Zenda card is issued by Coastal Community Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Zenda spending accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor through Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. Privacy notice for Coastal Community Bank can be found here.
Investment accounts are not bank guaranteed and not FDIC insured and may lose value.