HSA Basics

An HSA is a type of savings account called a Health Savings Account that lets you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses. By using untaxed dollars to pay for eligible health expenses, you can lower your overall health care costs.

In general, anyone can open an HSA with some limitations.

However, only those who are covered by a qualifying high-deductible health plan (HDHP) are eligible to make or accept contributions to their HSA. Some additional contribution limitations are: you must not be enrolled in Medicare and you must not be claimed as a tax dependent on someone else’s tax return. There are other more rare limitations, consult with a tax professional if you have more questions.

In general, anyone can contribute to an HSA you own.  Most commonly, the account holder, and/or their employer contribute to HSA accounts. What is most important are the conditions that allow you to accept contributions into your HSA account.   There are two basic requirements:

  1. You are on a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)
  2. You do not have additional disqualifying coverage

Check with your employer or the health plan you purchase to make sure that it is a qualified HDHP plan before making or accepting contributions.

Disqualifying coverage

Examples that would not permit HSA contributions:

  • You cannot be covered by Medicare part A, B, C or D
  • You cannot be covered by a general purpose FSA or HRA – this can also sometimes happen through a spouse.  Important note: Limited Purpose FSA (“LFSA”) are allowed to be used in conjunction with HSAs and are often paired with an HSA in an employer’s health plan
Please consult your employer and tax advisor to make sure of your eligibility for contributions.

Contribution limits are defined by IRS rules for a calendar year. Each year, the IRS sets what the maximum allowable contributions are for self and family health coverage.  Contributions count irrespective of who contributes the money to your HSA (you, your employer or someone else).


We compute your contribution limit assuming Zenda to be your only HSA and you (and family, if applicable) are covered only by a HSA-eligible health plan for the full calendar year. Your limit will be lower if there are contributions to a HSA owned by you or your spouse or if you or family members are covered by a HSA-eligible plan for only part of the calendar year or have other health coverage.


For 2022 the maximum limits are:

Self-only coverage:  $3,650

Family coverage: $7,300


If you will be 55 or older during the tax year, you are eligible for $1,000 additional contribution. If you are on family coverage, married and your spouse will be 55 or older in the tax year, then you get an additional $1,000.


You can find more details on contribution limits at the IRS website here.

No. Once opened, HSAs are yours forever and funds in them are NOT “use it or lose it”.  All contributions remain in the HSA until you spend it. So open one today!

Most HSAs provides you a debit card that you may use to make purchases (Zenda’s is special and extra awesome)!  You may also reimburse yourself if you paid for a health expense with cash, or another card.  Simply go into app to create an expense and reimburse from your HSA to Everyday account.


The IRS requires that eligible health expenses be incurred AFTER your HSA account was opened.  Note, the account does not have to be funded.  So, once your Zenda HSA has been opened, you can track your eligible expenses and then withdraw them from your HSA at any point in the future, tax free.

Yes, of course! Investing the funds you have is a very smart financial decision. HSAs are the only account that offers you a Triple Tax advantage:   There are two basic requirements:

  1. Contributions are tax free
  2. Investment growth is tax free*
  3. Withdrawals for medical expenses are tax free

To get started, tap on the investments tile on the app dashboard. To learn more, we have a FAQ specifically for investments located here. You can also read more about HSA investments with Zenda here.


*Note:  growth is free from Federal taxes and most states as well.  Check with your state to make sure how HSAs are treated for investment growth.

Of course! Using the mobile app, the primary account holder can request an authorized card at any time.



  1. The new card MUST BE ACTIVATED in the app by the primary card holder. Please do so after the card arrives in the mail.  See below for detailed instructions.
  2. You can view the additional cards in the My Zenda card page by swiping to the left to see each additional card requested.
  3. Authorized cards are part of the primary account and as such do not receive a separate login for the app.

To get started: tap the profile icon to go to the profile screen, then tap My Zenda Card tile.

User profile path

Next, hit the ‘+’ on the upper right side to add a new card, then provide the required information hit “send card” and the card will be mailed to the primary account holders address (expect 5-7 business days for delivery)


Once you have the card in your possession, you must activate it to enable in store purchases with the card.  On the My Zenda Card Screen, swipe to the left to see newly added card(s).

Once you see the card you wish to activate, tap the activate button in the lower left.


Making an additional contribution to your HSA for the previous year could help reduce the amount of Federal tax you owe.  This is typically called a “prior year contribution”.


The way it works

Between January 1 and the tax filing deadline for the year (April 18, 2022 for 2021 tax filings), you may make contributions up to the maximum amount you were allowed for the prior year, providing you were eligible to contribute.  This is an excellent way to help reduce taxes in your 2021 filing because in general, those contributions will not be subject to Federal taxes.  Your tax preparer or tax software may even ask if you have the ability to make this kind of contribution.


Example:  Let’s say you were on an HSA for all of 2021 on family coverage and your age was greater than 55.   That would mean your 2021 yearly contribution limit would be: $7,200 + $1,000 catch up = $8,200.  So, if you have contributed LESS than $8,200 in calendar year 2021, you can contribute the difference all the way up to April 18, 2022.  You could realize significant tax benefits by making the contribution, not to mention leveraging the HSA’s amazing triple-tax advantages.


There’s no better way to save money and Zenda enables you to do just this in a snap!  First, make sure your Zenda everyday account has enough funds in it to make the contribution.  Next open the mobile app and tap on the HSA account.  Then tap Edit Contributions.  Then tap Make a Contribution.  Type in the amount you wish to contribute and select the right tax year.  Then tap “Contribute” and you’re done!

For more information you can check out more information on contributions consult your tax advisor or from the IRS here.

Why should I use Zenda as my HSA?

Zenda is focused on helping you get the most out of your HSA.  We have you covered whether you want to make it easy to purchase eligible items, find the maximum tax savings, reduce your need for receipt tracking or maximize the growth of your HSA.

We do this by adding intelligence right into the Zenda debit card – which is smart enough to spot medical expenses you may have missed.  It is also smart enough to automatically create a proof of purchase usable if you are audited by the IRS and they ask about your medical expenses.  When Zenda automatically finds an expense for you – we believe so strongly that our process is correct, that we stand behind them with Zenda Audit Protection.

Zenda provides two accounts when you sign up, both owned by you – one HSA and one we call Everyday.  The Everyday account is much like a traditional checking account that you would have at your main bank.  You can move money freely between the Everyday account and any of your regular bank accounts using the Zenda mobile app.  The Zenda debit card is associated with both accounts, and the card is smart enough to identify medical expenses and charge those to your HSA account, while other expenses get charged to your Everyday.


For example, let’s say you head to the drug store and buy aspirin, a box of band-aids, a bottle of water and a package of potato chips. If you use the Zenda card to pay for all these (just one swipe!), then we are able to determine which of those are medical expenses and which are not.  Perhaps you knew which items were eligible, or perhaps not.  Either way, we spot the eligible items and get you the tax savings.  This is all done in real time and then we simply take the correct amount out of each account (HSA, Everyday) while the card pays the bill in a single transaction.  Magic!

Zenda’s Audit Protection generates a proof of purchase document for each allowable expense that has been automatically identified through use of the Zenda card.   This can be provided in the event the IRS challenges the validity of a qualified medical expense in an audit.  If the IRS denies the validity of the expense,  Zenda will pay the penalty that IRS may assess on that expense.

The best way to get Zenda is for your employer to offer it as part of it benefits package.  Talk to your HR team and have them reach out here.  This allows you to benefit the most from pre-tax contributions through payroll.

We are accepting interest from individuals here who want their own account without employer sponsorship – and will reach out when we make this available.