Comparing HSAs, FSAs and HRAs

1. HSAs are for long term SAVINGS. The required health insurance has an UPFRONT DEDUCTIBLE meaning there are no flat copays and you will be at out-of-pocket risk for potentially thousands of dollars. Your premium cost is likely thousands less than plans with copays and so do the math. It usually works out that you are financially ahead four out of five years.

2. FSAs are for short term SPENDING. They have two advantages over HSAs in that whatever you voluntarily defer per pay, the annual total is available at time of need throughout the year. Second, you can be covered under a plan with upfront copays and set money aside. One more advantage is that if your employer has made the change, you can roll over up to $500 of unspent funds to the next plan year.

3. HRAs are for REIMBURSEMENTS. The funds are provided by your employer to offset out-of-pocket expenses built into your health plan. Generally available to pay you back for a portion of UPFRONT DEDUCTIBLE cost exposure, they are advantageous as the annual amount is available at time of need throughout the year and you may defer your own money into an FSA to reduce out-of-pocket risk. Often HRA and FSA funds are available on one debit card.