Contributing to HSA while unemployed on COBRA insurance

This was a reader question submitted by HSAedge reader Helen, send your questions to

I am unemployed and not receiving unemployment benefits. I am participating in COBRA from my previous employer. Am I allowed to make HSA contributions if my husband is self-employed and does not have health insurance through his company?

You are allowed to make Health Savings Account contributions while using COBRA, assuming the plan you continue is HSA eligible. My take is that COBRA is a program that forces employers to offer the same insurance to past employees, although the pricing isn’t always the same. Thus, if you use COBRA to continue an HSA eligible plan, everything functions as normal, since you are continuing coverage under the same plan. COBRA just guarantees your access to that same plan. Note that employers are not required to continue making any sort of contributions into the HSA.

From the CobraInsurance website FAQ:

When the employee and dependents become eligible for COBRA, they can take this account with them. The employee can still contribute monies to the HSA and keep it for as long as they want. The employer is no longer obligated to contribute money or responsible for administrating the HSA when the employer or dependents are eligible for COBRA.