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FSA vs HSA: What's the difference?

FSA vs HSA: What's the difference?
Kevin Cleary

Let Health Products for You explain the difference between FSA & HSA accounts.

FSA vs HAS or HSA vs FSA? We get asked about that a lot and understandably it’s confusing, as FSA (Flexible Spending Account) and HSA (Health Savings Account) are closely related.

Both are tax-saving programs that cut your medical expenses on qualified medical expenses and items.

Health Savings vs. Flexible Spending Account

However, there are some significant differences between FSA vs HSA, and understanding the nuances of each account is crucial to maximizing your savings.

At HPFY, our team lists these FSA vs HSA differences in one clear chart for your convenience.


Account Type FSA HSA
Annual Contribution Limit $3050 $3850-$7750
Rollover No Yes
Self-employed eligible No Yes
Requires HDHP No Yes
Childcare eligible Yes No
Interest earned                No Yes


FSA vs HSA: Understanding the differences

The HSA contribution range refers to $3850 for an individual and $7750 for a family account. An HSA account, unlike FSA, requires you to have a high deductible health plan (HDHP). The self-employed can have an FSA but not an HSA account which is employer-provided and earns an interest income. Conversely, childcare is one of the FSA eligible items but not an HSA-eligible one.

No FSA rollover means Use It or Lose It!

As we approach the end of the year, the question of HSA / FSA rollover looms large! Perhaps the most important difference is the end of year and any rollover. While HSA rolls over into the next year, FSA does not rollover. Your FSA dollars need to be spent by the end of the year – or you lose it. At HPFY, our FSA store has a range of great FSA eligible items for you to choose and buy from. Visit FSA Qualified Healthcare Categories so you won’t lose your valuable FSA dollars but also use it smartly!

Quick Answers to 5 Top FSA and HSA Questions

1. FSA vs HSA: Are all FSA eligible products also HSA approved?

Yes, as long as they are medically eligible both plans cover approved products.

2. FSA vs HSA: Can I roll over my HSA / FSA account into next year?

Not with FSA as there is no FSA rollover. However, an HSA account can roll over into the next year.

3. FSA vs HSA: Who owns my HSA or FSA account?

An HSA account is owned by the employee whereas an FSA account is technically owned by the employer. Your HSA account can be taken to a new job.

4. FSA vs HSA: Which account is right for me?

It depends. If your employer offers a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) an HSA may be more appropriate, but if you need childcare an FSA may be more appropriate.

5. Can I use my FSA to cover childcare and medical expenses?

Sort of. Once you set your FSA up to be a Dependent Care FSA to cover qualified childcare expenses, you can set up a separate FSA for qualified medical purposes depending on your company’s plan.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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