HRA HSA FSA Comparison

The various health accounts that allow employees and employers to contribute pre-tax dollars for medical expenses can be confusing. Below is a helpful chart with some key characteristics to help you keep them straight.*

Tax Treatment Tax-free Tax-free Tax-free
Medical Expenses Allowed IRC 213(d) Expenses w/ No Employer Limitations** IRC 213(d) Expenses w/ No Employer Limitations** IRC 213(d) IRC 213(d) Expenses; but no Personal Health Insurance**
Use for Non-Medical Expenses None None None
Plan Maximums (2016/2017) None $6,550 (single); $13,100 (family) Determined by Employer; Capped at $2,500 starting in 2013
Eligibility None or Determined by Employer Must be linked to a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with deductibles of at least $1,300 (individual), or $2600 (family) None or Determined by Employer
Individual Employee Bank Accounts No Yes No
Funding Employer Only Employer and Employee Employer and Employee
Unspent Funds Carryover determined by Employer Carries over to next year Maximum $500 yearly carryover
Portability Determined by Employer Portable after termination Not portable after termination

**IRC 213(d) Expenses: found here.

*This is not a substitute for legal advice and should not be used as such. Do not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider.