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Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds header image It's Your Choice 2017 State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program
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2017 It's Your Choice - State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance for Employees and Retirees

Wisconsin Department Of Employee Trust FundsIt's Your Choice 2017


State of Wisconsin
Group Health Insurance Program
(State Employees, Retirees, Continuants and Graduate Assistants)

Health Savings Accounts Program

Put more money in your pocket!

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is an individually-owned, tax-advantaged account that you can use to pay for current or future eligible medical expenses. With an HSA, you’ll have the potential to build more savings for health care expenses or additional retirement savings through self-directed investment options.

This benefit is only available to individuals enrolled in one of the It’s Your Choice (IYC) High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP).  If you enroll in one of the IYC HDHP, you are required to enroll in the HSA.

For more information, visit the TASC website.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

An HSA is an account you must entroll in if you enroll in one of the High Deductible Health Plans. You can save money tax-free to pay for health care expenses not covered by insurance. Your employer may contribute funds, if you are eligible. This money is yours, even if you leave the HDHP plan or state service.

What are the benefits of an HSA?

  • Pre-tax contributions reduce your taxable income.
  • Post-tax contributions are tax deductible.
  • Make changes to your contribution at any time.
  • Distributions for eligible medical expenses are tax free.
  • HSA funds carry over year-to-year without forfeiture.
  • Contributions to your HSA belong to you, even if you retire or change employment.4
  • Grow your savings over time by earning interest.
  • After age 65, your funds can be withdrawn for any purpose without penalty (subject to regular income taxes).

Note: You must be enrolled in one of the IYC HDHPs in order to participate in the HSA.

How does it work?

  • You can contribute to your HSA via payroll deduction or by online transfer from your personal bank account to your HSA. Your employer (if eligible for employer contribution) or third parties, such as a spouse or parent, may contribute to your account as well.
  • You can pay for eligible medical expenses with your TASC Card or pay out-of-pocket. If you pay out-of-pocket, you can either choose to reimburse yourself or keep the funds in your HSA to grow your savings.

Manage your HSA account 24/7 via the TASC Benefits mobile app or TASC Online account.

More Health Care Savings Account Information


Enrollment Eligibility

  • State employees, except those who are eligible for the graduate assistant/short term academic staff benefits package and are not in the Wisconsin Retirement System, are eligible to participate.
  • Limited Term Employees (LTEs) who are eligible for the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program are eligible to participate.
  • Retirees1 younger than age 65 are eligible to participate.
  • To enroll in an HSA, you must be enrolled in one of the It’s Your Choice HDHPs. In addition:
    • You cannot have any other health coverage that pays for out-of-pocket health care expenses before you meet your plan deductible, including Medicare A and B.
    • You cannot be covered by TRICARE, or have accessed your Veterans Administration (VA) benefits in the past 90 days (to contribute to an HSA). Exceptions may apply. See HSA Participant Guide for more details.
    • You cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return (unless it’s your spouse).
    • You (and your spouse) cannot have a Health Care FSA in the same year.
    • Note: You must notify your human resources/benefits office of any other medical coverage, including Medicare A and B, when enrolling in, and at any point while enrolled in, the HDHP and HSA.


Important Program Information

Plan Year – The plan year is January 1 to December 31.

Expense Deadline – For the 2016 Benefit Period, you must incur all eligible expenses by December 31, 2016.

For the 2017 Benefit Period, you must incur all eligible expenses by December 31, 2017.

Carryover – All unused HSA funds carryover year-to-year without forfeiture.

Claims Deadline – While you should always try to submit requests for distribution during the same plan year in which the expense was incurred, there is no deadline to request an HSA distribution. You can only be reimbursed for eligible expenses incurred after your HSA was established and funded.

Re-Enrollment – You must re-enroll each year to continue participation. Enrollments do not carry forward from year to year.

 

New Hire – You must enroll within 30 days from the date of hire. Coverage will be effective on the first of the month on or following your eligibility date.

Qualified Life Event – Changes due to a qualifying life change event must be made within 30 days from the date of the event.

 


HSA Contributions

Annual HSA Employee Contribution Limits

This is the amount the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows to be contributed to an individual HSA. If a married individual’s spouse also has an HSA, the two can only contribute up to the total contribution limit between the two HSAs.

Annual HSA Contribution Limits

2017

2016

Individual HSA Annual Contribution Limit2

$3,400

$3,350

Family HSA Annual Contribution Limit2

$6,750

$6,750

HSA Catch-Up Contribution Limit3

$1,000

$1,000

1: Retirees enrolled in IYC HDHP/HSA benefit option must keep HSA open and active, and pay $3.00 monthly service fee.
2: Contributions from all sources combined, such as employee, employer, and third parties (i.e. parent, spouse, or anyone else) must not exceed these limits.
3: Health Savings Accountholders that meet these qualifications are eligible to make an HSA Catch-Up Contribution of $1,000: age 55-65 (regardless of when in the year an accountholder turns 55), not enrolled in Medicare (if an accountholder enrolls in Medicare mid-year, catch-up contributions should be pro-rated).
4: Employees that terminate employment but keep HSA open and active pay $3.00 monthly service fee.


Interest Rate and HSA Investment Options

  • Funds in your HSA account will earn interest over time.
  • Once your balance reaches $2,000, you may invest any funds above that level (in $100 increments) in a variety of HSA investment options with varying levels of related risk and returns.
  • HSAs offer a triple tax advantage by making the following tax free:
    • Contributions
    • Distributions
    • Investment earnings

    For more information about interest rate and HSA investment options, see the HSA Interest Rate & Investment Options Flyer and HSA Enrollment Brochure, or visit the TASC website.


More Interest Rate & HSA Investment Option Information


Eligible HSA Medical Expenses

You can use the funds in your HSA to pay for qualified medical, dental and prescription drug expenses. Eligible expenses can be incurred by you, your spouse, or qualified dependents. For more information, see the HSA Eligible Expenses flyer or your HSA Participant Guide. For the complete list of eligible and ineligible expenses, visit www.IRS.gov and see IRS Publications 502.  

HSA funds will only be available as they are contributed.

More Eligible HSA Medical Expenses Information


Enrollment Information

UW System Employees
Enrollments are done directly through the UW, not the TASC portal/website or by telephone.

UW System employees should refer to the University of Wisconsin Systems Employee Benefits website or contact your UW institution human resources department for enrollment instructions for 2017.

State of Wisconsin & Legislature Employees
State of Wisconsin and Legislature employees who are paid through the STAR System should log in to STAR to make all benefits elections during the annual It’s Your Choice period. Contact your agency payroll and benefits staff with any enrollment questions.

Annual It’s Your Choice Open Enrollment Period: October 17 – November 11, 2016

2017 Benefit Period: January 1 – December 31, 2017

Enroll During It’s Your Choice

  • You have three ways to enroll during the It’s Your Choice Open Enrollment period:
  • Your election will be effective January 1, 2017.
  • Note: If you are already enrolled in a Health Savings Account (HSA), you must re-enroll each year to continue participation. Enrollments do not carry forward from year to year.

 

If You Are a Newly Hired Employee

  • If you are electing to enroll in an HSA, you must enroll within 30 days of your date of hire (in an eligible position), or first eligible appointment.
  • Coverage will be effective on the first of the month on or following your eligibility date.
  • For more information and enrollment instructions, contact your human resources/benefit office.

If You Have Experienced a Qualifying Life Change Event

  • If you experience a qualified life change event, such as a marriage or divorce, birth or adoption of a child, a change in employment status, or another qualified life change event, you may have the opportunity to enroll or change your coverage outside of the open enrollment period.
  • There are various rules related to life change events. You must enroll or make changes within 30 days from the date of the qualifying event.
  • Contact your human resources/benefit office for more information on qualifying events, to see what your options are, how to enroll, and how to make a change.

Employer HSA Contribution

Employer HSA Contribution Eligibility

Only active state employees who are participating in the HDHP and HSA will be eligible for an employer HSA contribution. When an employee leaves state service (including retirees), they will become responsible for paying all fees associated with the HSA. The monthly maintenance fee is $3 per month and is automatically deducted from the account. HSAs with a zero balance for 90 days will be automatically closed.     

Employer HSA Contribution Amounts
This is the amount your employer will deposit to your HSA, if you are eligible. If you are eligible, your employer may contribute up to $750 individual/$1,500 family.

Coverage Level

2017

2016

Individual Plan

$750.00

$750.00

Family Plan

$1,500.00

$1,500.00

 

Employer HSA Contribution Timing:
State employer HSA contributions for employees who are paid biweekly will be provided in 24 payments. For employees who work for agencies covered by STAR, these payments will occur on the first two checks payable within the month. Employees paid monthly will receive one payment per month. Employees who leave state service will not receive any payments that would have occurred on future paychecks.

Disclaimer:
Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but may be subject to change. Please note revision dates located at the bottom of each page. In the event of conflicting information, federal law, state statute, state health contracts and/or policies and provisions established by the State of Wisconsin Group Insurance Board shall be followed.

This page was last modified on: 10/17/2016 2:44:13 PM