This question was submitted by HSA Edge reader Eugenia. Feel free to submit your question today to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My husband and I have different employers, and we would like to use an HSA and FSA. This November is an open enrollment for Health Insurance for 2018 and my husband plans to enroll in an HDHP Plan with self only coverage. Since my employer does not offer an HDHP, I will enroll myself and my son a PPO plan. Can we have both FSA medical and HSA ? since my husband Insurance is self only coverage and my insurance is self and child only coverage. And how can my husband open the Health Savings Account?
You are correct in questioning the same year FSA and HSA contribution. However, this is only a problem if the person with the HSA is contributing to an FSA, which is generally not allowed. However, since you and your husband have separate insurance, with him on the HSA plan and you with the FSA, there is no problem. You do not interfere with his HSA contributions, and vice versa, so you can make the FSA contributions. As long as the HSA insurance doesn’t include the other spouse, they can have whatever they want, including a Flexible Spending Account. If your Family coverage included your husband it would be another story. See this article regarding Choosing between an HSA and FSA.
As for opening an HSA, as long as your husband has a qualifying High Deductible Health Plan, he can open an HSA at whatever financial institution he wants. Here is a similar situation involving Opening an HSA when Your Employer does not Offer One. It is pretty easy. I suggest comparing banks that offer the lowest fees and best investment options to make a choice.
As for contributing to the HSA, your husband can directly contribute to his HSA instead of taking salary deductions. This will be done with post-tax dollars, so he just writes a check to the Health Savings Account. Come tax time, when you file Form 8889, it will reduce your taxable income by the contribution amount, making those contributions tax free. However, do note that there is one disadvantage of contributing directly to the HSA, which is additional Social Security / Medicare taxes are paid. If you withhold the contributions from your paycheck, you never pay those extra taxes. If you contribute the post-tax money, you will have paid those taxes, but only get back the federal income tax you paid. It might not matter.
Note: if you have an HSA, please consider trying my service TrackHSA.com for your Health Savings Account record keeping. You can store purchases, receipts, and reimbursements securely online.