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How Do I Become a Health Savings Account Administrator?

By Valerie Clark
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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If you want to become a health savings account (HSA) administrator, you should seek out a reputable certification program with a health savings account administration training organization. There are online programs designed to provide the necessary educational and administrative training needed to obtain a certificate in HSA administration. Holding such a certification will enable you to gain the required authorization needed to handle HSA-related activities for employees and self-employed individuals.

An HSA administrator is responsible for processing incoming and outgoing transactions, generating quarterly statements and providing tax forms. Your preparation to become a health savings account administrator should include a thorough review of the processes, documentation and requirements needed to perform the job. Computer-based certification programs can offer online support for frequently asked questions regarding tax documents, compliance concerns and industry tips.

An HSA certification program is typically geared toward human resource (HR) professionals and chief financial officers (CFOs) responsible for employer-offered insurance plans. For the HR professional who decides to become a health savings account administrator, the benefits include improved understanding of HSA plan designs, improved communication with employees regarding those designs and improved facilitation of day-to-day HSA-related procedures. HSA-qualified insurance plans offered by employers to employees are generally administered by the insurance company itself, though employees have the option of choosing a third-party financial institution to handle their HSA funds. Common examples of third-party financial institutions that also can be HSA administrators include banking institutions and investment firms.

There are many unique features, pay schedules and services that may be offered by a third-party financial institution and HSA administrator. During the certification process to become a health savings account administrator, you will be exposed to the different plan designs, fee structures and regulations. Some of these options can include the flexibility to purchase stocks and bonds with HSA funds or to purchase a certificate of deposit (CD) or mutual fund. A person who has certification and has become a health savings account administrator has the authority to orchestrate the appropriate plan design for any person enrolled in a HSA-qualified insurance plan.

An HSA-qualified insurance plan carries a high deductible and low premium. The HSA administrator is responsible for explaining the advantages and disadvantages of enrolling in such a plan. Some employer-funded insurance plans that offer an HSA option also offer an employer match program similar to a 401(k) retirement fund that uses pre-tax dollars. For self-employed individuals, the savings on monthly insurance premiums is typically what gets deposited into an HSA. A well-trained HSA administrator can recommend appropriate contribution amounts and savings strategies for current and future medical bills.

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