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HRA vs HSA vs FSA Comparison Chart

Written by: PeopleKeep Team
January 1, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Comparison charts provide an excellent way of summarizing complex information. For those interested in defined contribution health strategies, you may be interested in comparing various benefits vehicles.

This comparison chart examines the health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), health savings account (HSA), and flexible spending account (FSA).

It's a good summary of the key differences between the four primary types of health care reimbursement accounts and arrangements.

What do HRA, HSA, and FSA Stand for?

HRA = Health Reimbursement Arrangement. For the purposes of this blog, we will be examining the qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA)

HSA = Health Savings Account

FSA = Flexible Spending Account

HRA, HSA, and FSA Feature Comparison Chart

Who may Contribute Employer Only Employer or Employee Employee or Employer
Cost of Employer Contributions Only pay for Utilization (typically 25-50%) 100% paid regardless of Utilization n/a
Average Cost to Cover $2,000/year Deductible $500–1,000 $2,000 $2,000
Maximum Annual Contribution $5,150 (single), $10,450 (family) for 2019 $3,500 (single), $7,000 (family) for 2019 Determined by Employer; Capped at $2,600, including employee contributions, in 2017
Eligibility Requirements Must have minimum essential coverage to receive reimbursements tax-free Must have HSA-qualified health coverage None or Determined by Employer
Each Employee must open new Bank Account? No Yes No
Tax Treatment Tax-free Tax-free Tax-free
Medical Expenses Allowed Health Insurance Premiums + IRC 213(d) IRC 213(d) Expenses w/ No Employer Limitations IRC 213(d) Expenses; but no Personal Health Insurance
Use for Non-Medical Expenses None None None
Carryover of unused funds to next year No Yes No
Portable after Termination No Yes No
Administrator Employer or TPA Employee Employer or TPA
Cross-Compatibility QSEHRA with HSA* or FSA> Limited-Purpose or Post-Deductible FSA or HRA With HRA or HSA*
Employer Reporting Employer Views Detailed Utilization Reports No Tracking Possible Employer Views Detailed Utilization Reports

*HSAs are fully compatible only with certain HRA and FSA administration platforms that enable HSA-Compatibility .

Topics: Flexible Spending Accounts, HSA, Health Reimbursement Arrangement

Additional Resources

See what makes HRAs different from HSAs and FSAs in our comparison chart.
Did you know you can use an HRA and HSA together? See how in our guide.