What are the differences between HSAs, HRAs and FSAs?

Who is this for?

Michigan Health Insurance – Customer Service – Health Spending Accounts

Anyone under age 65.

HSAs, HRAs and FSAs are accounts used to save on taxes and pay for qualified medical, prescription, dental and vision expenses. Spelled out:

  • HSA is health savings account
  • HRA is health reimbursement account or arrangement
  • FSA is flexible spending account or arrangement

If you buy your own insurance, you don’t need to worry about comparing all these accounts. That’s because you’re only eligible for an HSA.

But employers can offer any of these accounts, and sometimes more than one at the same time. So you may be wondering why you’d choose one over the other. We’ll show you how they compare.

If you need more information about health spending accounts, we have articles that explain each kind.  The links are at the end of this article. Publication 969 from the IRS is also a good resource.

Health spending account comparison HSA HRA FSA
You own the account.      
Your employer owns the account.      
You must have a high-deductible health plan.      
Only your employer can put money in.      
You and your employer can put money in.      
You can invest the money in the account.      
Must report account when you do your taxes.