(Q) What do I have to do to “establish” a FlexBank HSA program for my employees? Top
(A) You may help your employees establish a FlexBank HSA at the same time, or shortly after they become covered by an HSA-eligible high deductible health plan (HDHP). You should provide each interested employee with a FlexBank HSA Sign Up Kit. At the same time, we strongly urge you to encourage employees to read and fully understand all IRS rules and regulations concerning HSAs as the HSA owner is personally responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules and any adverse tax consequences resulting from misuse of the account.
(Q) Who can help me establish my account? Top
(A) FlexBank can assist you in initially establishing the account. FlexBank has provided this web site as a central means of knowing the rules along with links to various other web sites where information is available. FlexBank also has a toll-free customer service call center (1-888-677-8373) that you and your employees may call with any questions concerning HSAs.
(Q) Can an employee be his or her own trustee or custodian? Top
(A) No, they must establish their HSA with an approved institution.
(Q) Can couples establish a “joint” account and both make contributions to the account, including “catch-up” contributions? Top(A) “Joint” HSA accounts are not permitted. Each spouse should consider establishing an account in their own name. This allows you to both make catch-up contributions when each spouse is 55 or older.
(Q) Must couples open separate accounts? Top
(A) If both husband and wife are eligible to contribute to an HSA, they are both eligible to establish separate HSAs. However, if both spouses want to make “catch-up” contributions when they are age 55 or older, they must establish separate accounts.
(Q) How soon can I open my FlexBank HSA? Top
(A) Your account can be established as early as the effective date of your HDHP coverage. However, if your coverage begins on any day other than the first day of the month, you cannot establish your HSA until the first day of the following month.
(Q) I want to make sure my HSA is “established” as soon as possible. Can I establish my account before my HDHP coverage begins? Top
(A) You can complete all the paperwork prior to the effective date of your HDHP coverage. However, your account is not officially “established” until your HDHP coverage begins and a deposit is made into the account.
It is generally the goal to have funds in the HSA on the day that the HDHP is effective. This can be a challenge if January 1 is a weekend/bank holiday. If the HDHP is effective January 1, you are not permitted to make an HSA deposit in the prior calendar year. Here’s why. The custodial bank generates IRS reporting based on a calendar year. A deposit made in the prior calendar year will generate a Form 5498-SA showing that deposits had been made attributable to that calendar year. The issue is that the individual was not technically HSA-eligible until the next calendar year. This may cause a red flag with the IRS. We want to avoid that; therefore if your HDHP is effective January 1, the first date available for a deposit into the health savings accounts will be no earlier than January 2nd. Please contact FlexBank’s HSA team to discuss the timing when using our online HSA depositing system.