Woman with cat using laptop to look up what is a health savings account

What is a health savings account?

Written on November 23, 2022 by Amy Harris, MS, RN, CNM. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

Table of contents

Healthcare costs are a growing part of every person’s budget. Even if you are lucky enough to have health insurance, the amount you have to pay out of pocket for a visit with a provider, medications, and even health-related items like bandages or thermometers seems to be on a one-way elevator ride up to unaffordable. What if there was a way for you to save money on those healthcare expenses, including Everlywell’s at-home lab tests? It turns out there is, and it is called a health savings account (HSA). Keep reading to learn more about what is a health savings account and how to use your HSA to pay for Everlywell tests.

What is a health savings account (HSA)?

A health savings account (HSA) is a type of financial account you set up to pay for health care [1]. To set up an HSA, you must be covered by a federally-qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) [2]. HDHPs usually have larger annual deductibles (what you have to pay out-of-pocket before your health insurance kicks in—usually four figures for HDHPs, which is higher than typical health plans but you would pay lower monthly premiums (what you pay each month for health insurance) [2].

How does an HSA work?

An HSA works basically like a savings account with tax benefits to be used specifically for healthcare expenses. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) goes into great detail, listing exactly what are qualified medical expenses—deductibles, dental services, vision care, prescription drugs, co-pays, psychiatric treatments, and other qualified medical expenses not covered by a health insurance plan [3]. Thanks to the 2020 CARE Act, you can now use your HSA to pay for over-the-counter medications and menstrual products.

HSAs issue a debit card so you can pay for prescription medications and other eligible expenses. If you wait for a bill to come in the mail, you can call the billing center and pay over the phone using your HSA debit card. You can also reimburse yourself for Everlywell at-home lab tests using your HSA.

What are some benefits of an HSA?

There are several reasons why HSAs make financial sense to those of us worrying about our wallet’s well-being and physical health and wellness:

  • Having an HSA alleviates some of the worry that you are one medical emergency away from bankruptcy—you have peace of mind knowing that you have your HSA.
  • Your HSA balances roll over from year to year (no use it or lose it policy).
  • HSA funds are portable, meaning you can keep them if you change your health plan or job.
  • HSA funds (withdrawn from each paycheck) can be saved for future expenses on a pre-tax basis (meaning you get to use more of your hard-earned paycheck dollars).
  • HSA funds can also be invested, earning you even more money.
  • Your employer can also contribute to your HSA.
  • You can change your election amount (what you save from your paycheck to pay to your HSA) anytime. This differs from a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)—you can only change your FSA election amount annually during the open enrollment period.
  • Once you turn 65, you can withdraw from your HSA and spend the money on anything you like (it doesn’t have to be a qualified medical expense) without paying the normal 20 percent penalty.

Still not convinced that an HSA may be a healthy option for your healthcare expenses? You are a smart healthcare consumer, and it makes sense to look at how you spend your healthcare dollars each month or year. Learning about which tests or products, such as Everlywell home testing products, are covered by your HSA is important to consider.

Are Everlywell at-home testing products covered by my HSA?

It can take some investigation (and maybe some paperwork) to determine if your HSA covers Everlywell’s products. The good news is that many HSA benefits coordinators consider Everlywell tests qualified medical expenses (as defined by the IRS) [3].

To use your HSA to purchase Everlywell home testing products, you need to pay first and then get reimbursed by your HSA. Everlywell can give you an itemized receipt for a kit you order (as long as the kit has been registered) and then you submit for HSA reimbursement. Email [email protected] with your order number.

It’s always a good idea to check with your HSA benefits coordinator before making a purchase that you expect to be paid back for.

Learn more: Are Everlywell tests covered by FSA/HSA?

Are Everlywell’s Virtual Care Visits a qualified medical expense under my HSA?

Everlywell now offers discreet telehealth appointments with Virtual Care Visits. Because telehealth is so new, many health insurance companies are still working out which types of visits can be paid for with HSA funds. Everlywell does accept HSA funds to pay for virtual visits.

Health savings accounts work for smart healthcare consumers

Signing up for and using an HSA offered through your high-deductible health plan is a way to keep your body and wallet in tip-top health. As your partner in health and wellness, Everlywell wants you to know all about health insurance coverage and exactly what is a health savings account.

What is a flexible savings account?

What does FSA/HSA eligible mean?

FSA vs. HSA: what are the differences?


  1. Health savings accounts(HSAs). U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, DHHS. Accessed November 15, 2022. URL
  2. High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). URL
  3. Medical and Dental Expenses. IRS. Publication 502. January 11, 2022. URL
  4. Publication 502 (2021), Medical and Dental Expenses (Including the Health Coverage Tax Credit). Internal Revenue Service, Updated January 13, 2022. Accessed November 18, 2022. URL
Everlywell makes lab testing easy and convenient with at-home collection and digital results in days. Learn More