A special rule requires spouses covered by family high deductible health plan (HDHP) coverage to divide the health savings account (HSA) contribution between themselves, which does not apply to adult children. Therefore, adult children covered under their parents’ HDHP may be able to establish their own HSA and make contributions. Notably, any person (the adult child, parent, or family member) can make contributions to the adult child’s HSA.
The adult child cannot be eligible to be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return in order to contribute to their own HSA. Additionally, the child is required to be covered by an HDHP, cannot be covered by other health coverage that isn’t an HDHP (with some exceptions), and cannot be enrolled in Medicare.
There are three main tax advantages that allow HSAs to be important savings tools.
- All contributions are tax-deductible.
- Earnings and interest accumulate on a tax-deferred basis.
- Withdrawals that pay for qualified medical expenses are tax-free.
Conversely, any withdrawal that is not used for a qualified medical expense is taxable as income and subject to a 20% penalty. An HSA is advantageous because unused funds roll over year to year and continue to be available.
An adult child cannot be eligible to be claimed as a dependent in order to be able to have their own HSA. If the child is under age 19 (or age 24 if a full-time student) or they are permanently disabled, they can be claimed as a dependent. Additionally, if the child has lived with the parent for more than half a year, and the child does not provide more than half of their own support in a year, they can also be claimed as a dependent.
It is also important to note that contributions made to the child’s account do not affect what a parent can contribute to their own HSA.
If you have any questions about HSAs, please reach out to your dedicated Creative Benefits team member.