HSA Comparability Rules Published

July 28, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have issued final regulations concerning Health Savings Account (HSA) comparability rules.

Those  rules that provide that an employer contributing to one employee’s HSA must contribute comparable amounts to all employees who have HSAs.  

The final regulations include:

  • an exception from the comparability requirement for groups of collectively bargained employees,
  • the ability to make different comparable contributions based on different variations of family coverage, and
  • further clarification of the exclusion from the comparability requirement for employer contributions made through a cafeteria plan.

Regarding the latter point, a Treasury press release notes that generally, under the final rules if employees are allowed to contribute to an HSA by salary reduction through a cafeteria plan, all employer contributions to the employee’s HSA will be treated as being made through a cafeteria plan (and thus excluded from the comparability rules).

The press release notes that these provisions are designed to accommodate the needs of employers for additional flexibility in designing plans to provide health benefits for employees while preserving the protections of the comparability rules.