Health at SMU

Health Savings Account

Administered by Mellon Bank

(877) 635-5472

If you enroll in either the $2,500 or $5,000 Deductible PPO Options, you will be able to take advantage of a special tax-savings feature called a Health Savings Account (HSA).  The HSA is a tax-free bank account used to help pay the cost of eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses.  You will make contributions to your account through pre-tax payroll deductions. Withdrawals are not taxed as long as the funds are used to pay for qualifiied healthcare expenses.

Effective October 1, 2013, the ACS|BNY Mellon HSA Solution (“The HSA Solution”) has changed its name to BenefitWalletTM. As a result of the name change, the website has also changed. You can expect to receive the same service and features under the new BenefitWallet brand.

IMPORTANT: The HSA is an important feature since both the $2,500 and $5,000 Deductible PPO options do not pay any benefits, with the exception of preventive care services, until you satisfy your deductible.

You can use the HSA to pay for health care expenses such as:

  • Deductibles
  • Coinsurance (your share of eligible health expenses after the plan has paid benefits)
  • Amounts above reasonable and customary charges for out-of-network services
  • Out-of-pocket dental and vision expenses
  • Prescription drug co-insurance (your share of eligible prescriptions expenses after the plan has paid benefits)

Who is Eligible

You can participate in the HSA only if you enroll in the $2,500 or $5,000 Deductible PPO Options.  You are not eligible to contribute if:

  • You are enrolled in Medicare (Part A, Part B, or Part D).
  • You are covered by another medical plan (such as your spouse's plan) that does not qualify as a high deductible health plan.
  • You or your spouse participates in a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at SMU or at your spouse's employer.

Even if you do not contribute to the HSA, you cannot contribute to SMU's Health Care FSA if you are enrolled in the $2,500 or $5,000 Deductible PPO Options.

Coverage for Adult Children

While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has extended its coverage to adult children up to age 26 to their health plans, the IRS has not changed its definition of a dependent for health savings accounts.This means that an employee whose 24-year-old child is covered on his HSA-qualified high-deductible health plan is not eligible to use HSA funds to pay that child’s medical bills.

If account holders can't claim a child as a dependent on their tax returns, then they can't spend HSA dollars on services provided to that child. According to the IRS definition, a dependent is a qualifying child (daughter, son, stepchild, sibling or stepsibling, or any descendant of these) who:

  • Has the same principal place of abode as the covered employee for more than one-half of the taxable year.
  • Has not provided more than one-half of his or her own support during the taxable year.
  • Is not yet 19 (or, if a student, not yet 24) at the end of the tax year or is permanently and totally disabled.

How You Contribute to the HSA

For 2014, you can contribute up to a maximum of $3,300 for an individual and $6,500 for a family. If you are age 55 or older you can contribute an additional $1,000. Your contributions are deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis. The money is placed in an account where it earns interest after you contribute a certain amount.

How to Set Up And Use Your Account

Once you enroll, you will receive account information and forms from Mellon Bank at your home.  You must complete and return these forms to Mellon Bank before using your account.

You will receive a debit card and a checkbook which can be used to pay for eligible expenses.  You will not be asked to submit proof of your expenses for verification purposes as with a Flexible Spending Account.  Keep documentation showing your HSA funds are used for eligible expenses in the event of a future IRS audit.

If you would like your out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles, to be automatically debited from your HSA, contact the Mellon Bank HSA Contact Center at 1-877-635-5472 to sign up for auto-adjutication.

If You Have Money Left at Year-End

Any money left in your account at the end of the year remains there.  It can be used to pay your health care expenses in future years, including expenses incurred after age 65. If you leave SMU, your HSA goes with you.  There is no "use it or lose it" rule with a HSA.

What if I am a new employee and become eligible to contribute to an HSA mid-year (not January 1st)?  What is my maximum contribution?

You may make the full year’s contribution into the HSA, even if you are eligible for only part of the year. If you make a contribution for the full year when you only had partial year HSA-eligibility, you must remain HSA-eligible through the last month of the following calendar year to avoid tax and penalty

To be HSA-eligible, you must be covered by a HSA-qualified high deductible health plan (i.e., either the $2,500 or $5,000 deductible medical options) and not be covered by any non-qualified health plans (i.e., either the $1,000 or $2,000 deductible medical options). Failure to maintain HSA eligibility (for reasons other than death or disability) for the required amount of time will result in income tax and a 10% additional tax on the contribution amounts attributable to the months before you had high deductible health plan coverage and were HSA-eligible.

Domestic Partners & HSA Contributions

If you are covering a domestic partner as a dependent on the SMU $2,500 or $5,000 Deductible PPO options, you can contribute up to the family maximum on a pre-tax basis. Your contributions can be used to reimburse yourself for eligible health care expenses incurred by your domestic partner.

If you are NOT covering your domestic partner as a dependent on the $2,500 or $5,000 Deductible PPO options, contributions made to the HSA cannot be used for any of your domestic partner's health care expenses.

Quick Links

Health Plans Quick Links


For More Information

If you have questions about the HSA or want to take advantage of Mellon Bank's online customer service tools, visit the Mellon website.

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