CU health savings account to debut during Open Enrollment

Tax-free growth possible into retirement

Beginning July 1, the University of Colorado will offer a health savings account (HSA) through Wells Fargo.

Benefits-eligible CU faculty and staff may enroll in the HSA during CU’s Open Enrollment for contributions to begin July 1 or at any time after that. To qualify for an HSA, employees must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan, such as CU Health Plan – High Deductible (HSA Compatible).

HSAs offer three main benefits – tax-free health savings, the ability to grow those savings, and spending on qualified medical expenses anytime, from today throughout your retirement.

Don't know your FSA from your HSA? Congratulations, you're human.

Figuring out the best savings account for your health care expenses can be tricky. That's why Employee Services created resources to help you decide which plan is best for you. Visit

If you have questions, please contact Employee Services benefits professionals at 303-860-4200, option 3, or

An HSA is like an IRA for health care: It allows enrollees to save money for health expenses with unused balances rolling over from year to year, and even accumulating interest. An HSA may also be used to save and pay tax-free today for your health care expenses — from doctor’s visits to prescriptions, as well as dental and vision expenses.

“The HSA option gives employees an opportunity to set aside pre-tax money to plan for those expenses that may occur in retirement. Medicare is only going to pick up a percentage of a person’s medical costs,” said Michelle Martinez, director of Benefits and Payroll Administration at CU Employee Services. “Estimates today are that a 65-year-old retiree should plan on $250,000 to cover their future medical expenses.  An added bonus to the HSA: CU is picking up the administrative fees for the employees.”

The 2015 IRS maximum contribution limits for HSAs are $3,350 for individual coverage and $6,650 for family coverage. Those age 55 or older may make an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000. After opening an account, participants will be mailed a welcome package, which includes all the information needed to start managing an HSA. Within a few days of receiving the welcome package, participants will receive an HSA debit card in a separate mailing with instructions for using the card. The debit card may be used to pay for prescriptions, doctors’ visits, dental expenses, hearing aids, eyeglasses and more. Expenses are automatically deducted from an enrollee’s HSA. Employee Services has created a resource page explaining the Wells Fargo HSA and its major advantages, as well as a comparison chart to help employees decide whether an FSA or HSA is the best choice, based on their needs. If you have questions, please contact Employee Services benefits professionals at 303-860-4200, option 3, or