Using excess HSA funds for nonmedical reasons

May 16, 2008

I have a high-deductible health insurance plan and a health savings account containing $15,000, but soon I'll start a new job and will no longer need the HSA. What can I do with the remaining funds?

I have a high-deductible health insurance plan and a health savings account containing $15,000, but soon I'll start a new job and will no longer need the HSA. What can I do with the remaining funds?

To avoid nasty tax consequences, you must leave the money in the account and use it over time for qualified medical expenses that aren't covered by your new employer's health insurance. The funds can remain in the account indefinitely, and you can use them to pay qualified expenses for yourself, a spouse, or a dependent. But if you use the money for anything else, you'll pay income tax and a 10 percent penalty (assuming you're not over age 65 or disabled). For more information, consult IRS Publication 969, available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p969.pdf.

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