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What is an HSA and What Are The Benefits?

Alerus | OCT 09, 2017

What is an HSA?

Think of a health savings account as a kind of personal savings account or investment account that employers can offer to employees who are covered by high-deductible health plans, or HDHPs, in order to help them save money on dozens of types of medical expenses, from doctor visits and physicals to surgery and psychiatric care.

HSA Advantages for Employers

From an employer perspective, offering health savings accounts can provide a number of benefits:

  • Tax Savings: You do not pay payroll taxes on contributions you make to your employees' HSAs through payroll deductions. You also receive federal income tax deductions for contributions you make to employees' HSAs.
  • Health Plan Agnostic: HSAs are compatible with virtually all qualified high-deductible health plans, so if your company switches insurers you don't have to change HSA providers.
  • Competitive: HSAs make your company's health plan options more attractive to employees and job candidates.
  • Easy Setup: Combine the human touch with excellent technology to make setting up your HSA program simple.
  • Easy Administration: Online tools help your employees engage and help you administer the program.

Health Savings Accounts are Portable

What happens when there’s a change in an employee’s life? Well, HSAs are portable, which means:

When an employee leaves the company or retires, the HSA stays functional and the person can keep using it.
At death, the HSA goes to the spouse without tax consequences, or to anyone else as a taxable asset. It’s very much like a checking account in that way.

Want to Learn More?

Including an HSA in your company's benefits offering is a big decision, one you should make with all the information available to you. If you would like to speak with one our HSA specialists about your specific needs, call 877.661.4727 or send an email to

You can also check out the health savings section of our website, which includes handy HSA calculators so you can plug in some of your real-world numbers.

This material is general information about health care considerations and is not intended to provide specific health care or tax advice. If you have questions about your specific situation, please contact your health care, legal, or tax advisor.

Related Product


Alerus offers a wide variety of checking account options for customers in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Arizona.

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