Your browser does not support JavaScript!
Member Education
forms and publications
about etf
frequently asked questions
contact etf
site map
related links
top of page
Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds header image It's Your Choice 2017 State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program
members retirees employers governing boards careers at etf
skip to end of menu
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  • After age 65, your funds can be withdrawn for any purpose without penalty (subject to regular income taxes).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



Individual HSA Annual Contribution Limit2



Family HSA Annual Contribution Limit2



HSA Catch-Up Contribution Limit3



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 and see IRS Publications 502.  

HSA funds will only be available as they are contributed.

More Eligible HSA Medical Expenses Information

Enrollment Information

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is an individually-owned savings account that you must enroll in if you are enrolled in one of the High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHP). To enroll:

  • See the HSA How to Enroll for Retirees Flyer for Enrollment Information.
  • You have two ways to enroll during the It’s Your Choice Open Enrollment Period:
  • You can request a paper application from ETF, or download a copy from the TASC or ETF website.
  • 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.

* Due to November 11 being a federal holiday, mailed applications must be postmarked by November 10, 2016.

New Participants

To enroll in an HSA, new participants should:

  • Complete the Retiree HSA Enrollment Application.
  • Submit the completed Retiree HSA Enrollment Application to ETF via:
    • Fax: 1-608-261-8177 or 1-608-226-5535
    • Email:

Note: New participants are unable to enroll online through TASC. All new participants must complete and submit a paper application.

Current Participants

To re-enroll in an HSA, current participants should:

Account Maintenance Fee

Retirees are required to have an active State HSA if they are enrolled in an HDHP. Retirees are responsible for the $3 per month account maintenance fee. Retirees must keep adequate funds in the account to cover the $3 monthly fee. HSAs with a zero balance for 90 days will be closed automatically. If the account is not active, you will no longer be eligible for the HDHP.

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