Publication 969

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Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans

Overview

Various programs are designed to give individuals tax advantages to offset health care costs. This publication explains the following programs.

  • Health savings accounts (HSAs).
  • Medical savings accounts (Archer MSAs and Medicare Advantage MSAs).
  • Health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs).
  • Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

An HSA may receive contributions from an eligible individual or any other person, including an employer or a family member, on behalf of an eligible individual. Contributions, other than employer contributions, are deductible on the eligible individual's return whether or not the individual itemizes deductions. Employer contributions are not included in income. Distributions from an HSA that are used to pay qualified medical expenses are not taxed.

An Archer MSA may receive contributions from an eligible individual and his or her employer, but not both in the same year. Contributions by the individual are deductible whether or not the individual itemizes deductions. Employer contributions are not included in income. Distributions from an MSA that are used to pay qualified medical expenses are not taxed.

A Medicare Advantage MSA is an Archer MSA designated by Medicare to be used solely to pay the qualified medical expenses of the account holder who is eligible for Medicare. Contributions can only be made by Medicare. The contributions are not included in your income. Distribu- tions from a Medicare Advantage MSA that are used to pay qualified medical expenses are not taxed.

A health FSA may receive contributions from an eligible individual. Employers may also contribute. Contributions are not includible in income. Reimbursements from an FSA that are used to pay qualified medical expenses are not taxed.

An HRA must receive contributions from the employer only. Employees may not contribute. Contributions are not includible in income. Reimbursements from an HRA that are used to pay qualified medical expenses are not taxed.

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