HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Health Savings Accounts: Guidance from the IRS and Treasury

Here are some helpful links from the IRS' "Hot Topics" web page on the subject of Health Savings Accounts:

The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 created a new, tax-advantaged way for certain people to save for health care expenses. You must be covered by a high-deductible health plan to open and contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA). IRS and Treasury have provided guidance on how HSAs work.

Related Items:

  • Notice 2004-2 (PDF 55K) — Questions & Answers on HSAs. (Updated 8/9/04 to include changes made by Notice 2004-50, as revised.)
  • Notice 2004-50 (PDF 143K) — A set of 88 additional questions and answers on various HSA issues, including eligibility, contributions, distributions and plan administration. (Revised 8/9/04)
  • Notice 2004-23 (PDF 91K) — Safe harbors for preventive care benefits
  • Notice 2004-25 (PDF 52K) — Transition relief for medical expenses incurred in 2004 for those who establish an HSA by April 15, 2005.
  • Notice 2004-43 (PDF 50K) — Transition relief for individuals in states where high deductible health plans are not available because state laws bar or limit a deductible for certain benefits.
  • Revenue Ruling 2004-38 (PDF 55K) — HSA rules for persons covered by both a high deductible health plan and a prescription drug plan.
  • Revenue Ruling 2004-45 (PDF  85K) — Clarifies how health Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) interact with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). The guidance provides a number of ways that individuals may have access to benefits from FSAs and HRAs and remain eligible to contribute to an HSA. Issued May 11, 2004.
  • Revenue Procedure 2004-22 (PDF 38K) — Transition relief before 2006 for HSA-eligibles covered by both a high deductible health plan and a prescription drug plan.
  • Treasury Release JS-1061 — an overview of HSAs, with links to an HSA Fact Sheet and a release from the Office of Personnel Management about these accounts and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
  • Treasury Release JS-1278 — a summary of additional guidance on HSAs, issued March 30, 2004

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