Save money for your health needs

Health Savings Account (HSA)

COVID-19 CARES Act Communication:

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are available to those who are enrolled in Basic Health. You can use HSA dollars to pay for eligible medical, dental, and vision expenses. Balances roll over each year and accrue interest, and you keep the balance even if you leave UVA.

Once you have a balance of $1,000 in your HSA, you may invest it in mutual funds; any growth made from the investment is tax-free as long as it is used on eligible medical expenses.

Who is eligible?

You must be eligible for an HSA in order to enroll in Basic Health. 

You are eligible for an HSA if:

  • You are not a wage employee
  • You do not hold a J-1 visa
  • You are not enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid, or are listed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return
  • You, or your spouse, do not have a balance in a healthcare FSA, are part of a FSA grace period, or your plan year is not over
  • You have not received healthcare benefits from the Veterans Administration (TRICARE) within the last 3 months
  • You do not have a spouse or parent enrolled in a healthcare plan (including a Health Reimbursement Account) that provides you benefits before meeting the annual IRS minimum deductible
  • You have not already contributed the annual federal limit to another HSA, Medical Savings Account (MSA), or HRA in the same calendar year.

What are the costs and allowable HSA contributions?

UVA Employer HSA Contribution

Depending on your employee type, UVA may contribute money to your HSA to help offset the higher deductible. Currently, UVA contributes money to open HSA account in the UVA Health Savings Account Program for permanent full- and part-time benefits-eligible academic and medical center employees who are enrolled in the UVA Health Plan's Basic Health option. Wage employees enrolled in Basic Health are not part of this population. These funds roll over from year-to-year and are yours to keep and use for eligible expenses even if you switch to another UVA Health Plan option or leave the University.

Based on whether you are covering only yourself with Basic Health, or other eligible dependents, you will receive the following employer contribution:

  • Employee Only: $1,000
  • Family: $1,500

The annual employer contribution from UVA will be prorated in the following instances:

  • new hire enrollments and employees who are newly eligible for benefits
  • employees who have delays in opening their HSA accounts (contribution will be provided the month following account activation with Chard Snyder.)
  • UVA employer contributions will not change for any employee who gains or loses a dependent in the same calendar year

Employee HSA Contributions

You may choose to contribute to your HSA, though you are not required to do so. Employee contributions made by payroll are deducted before taxes. Each year, the IRS sets a contribution limit. This limit includes employer and employee contributions and is per household. The household limit means that if you and a spouse both have HSAs, your combined contributions, as well as those made by your employer(s), may not exceed the annual contribution maximum. For those age 55 and older, you may contribute an additional $1,000 over the annual maximum as a catch-up contribution.

Contribution limits for 2020 are:

  • Minimum Annual Employee Contribution: $120
  • Maximum Annual Employee Contribution: $3,550 for employee only, $7,100 for a family*

*Those with Employee + Child/Children, Employee + Spouse, and Family coverage are allowed to contribute up to the family limit.

Those age 55 and older may make an additional catch-up contribution of up to $1,000 per year.

UVA will not make retroactive changes to excess contributions or deductions.

How do I use my HSA?

HSAs work like a regular savings account. When you sign up for Basic Health, you must complete banking forms that will go to Chard Snyder, the company that administers UVA’s HSAs, FSAs, and Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Accounts. Contributions are accepted into new HSAs the month after the account is opened by Chard Snyder. For example, if you are a new employee who signs up for Basic Health in mid-August, your HSA may be opened in September. Your prorated UVA annual employer contribution, and any contributions you choose to make by payroll deduction, would go into your account starting in October. Sometimes Chard Snyder may request more information to open an account. Be sure to follow up on any requests to get your HSA opened in a timely manner. Anyone with a PO box as their home address in Workday will have their request to open a health savings account rejected by Chard Snyder and will be required to update their PO box to a physical address before their HSA can be opened. 

Funds deposited into Health Savings Accounts will be available to spend three bank days after the payday when they are deposited. After contributions are in your account and available, there are two ways to use those funds for eligible expenses:

  • Use your prepaid benefits card, the Benefits Card, at the time of purchase for eligible expenses. See below for more information about the Benefits Card.
  • Submit claims or make payments from your accounts online through Chard Snyder’s website.

Always remember to keep receipts for your records and to illustrate the funds were used properly in the event of an IRS inquiry.

  • Register at

    Your first time using Chard Snyder’s website to access your HSA information, you must register your account.

    • Go to and click on “Login.” Under “Employees,” click on “Access your FSA, HRA, HSA Advantage, TRP accounts.”
    • Under “New User?” click on “Create your new username and password.”
    • Follow the prompts to create your username and password. It will ask for your social security number or Employee ID (found on your UVA ID card), so have that information handy.
    • Begin using the Chard Snyder website to access your HSA information.
  • Check your account balance, view transactions, and make payments

    To access your account information, and tools for spending HSA funds, follow these steps:

    • Go to and click on “Login.” Under “Employees,” click on “Access your FSA, HRA, HSA Advantage, TRP accounts.”
    • Enter your login credentials.
    • Use buttons on the home screen or other pages you can navigate to from there to manage your account.
  • Use your Benefits Card

    When you first open an HSA, and/or a limited FSA, with Basic Health, you will receive your prepaid benefits card, the Benefits Card, in the mail to your home address. If you have had an account managed by Chard Snyder previously while at UVA, you will reuse the same Benefits Card you already have, even when changing your account type. Benny Cards are reused, so keep your card from year to year.

    • Watch this video for a quick overview of how the Benefits Card works (1 min.).

    • Before using your Benefits Card, activate it following the included instructions.

    • Use the card to pay for eligible expenses. Benefits Cards are smart cards, meaning they will only work for allowable expenses.

    • If you have more than one account, such as a limited FSA and an HSA, the Benefits Card is usually smart enough to pull from the correct account. For example, if you go to the dentist and use your Benefits Card, it would pull funds from your limited FSA first, as those funds are use-or-lose because they don’t rollover from year-to-year.

    • To be sure funds have been used from the account you intended, always confirm transactions by logging into Chard Snyder.

    • Always keep your receipts.

Health Savings Account Video

Watch this video to see if the Basic Health option is right for you. It provides an overview of UVA’s HDHP and the HSA that goes with it.

Switching from FSA to HSA

If you do not have a zero balance in your FSA by January 1

  • Your HSA cannot be opened and you cannot make employee contributions until April 1
  • Deposited funds become available for use on the third bank day after payday
  • You may not use money in your account to cover expenses incurred prior to April 1