Our Cherry Street Plaza lobby is now open for walk-in service from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Learn about other customer support options.

Medical plans with health savings accounts

The Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program's medical carriers contract with HealthEquity to administer the health savings accounts that are available to employees enrolled in a PEBB consumer-directed health plan.

Access HSA resources, including forms and document.

Visit HealthEquity's website

What is a health savings account?

A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-exempt account, which is funded by employer and employee contributions. HSA funds can be used to pay for IRS qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses, like deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.

HSAs are administered by HealthEquity and are only available to employees enrolled in a PEBB consumer-directed health plan (CDHP).

What is a consumer-directed health plan?

A consumer-directed health plan (CDHP) is a high-deductible health plan, which qualifies for a health savings account (HSA) and offers lower premiums but comes with a higher medical deductible and medical out-of-pocket limit than most traditional health plans.

The PEBB Program offers the following consumer-directed health plans with health savings accounts:

  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest CDHP
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington CDHP
  • Uniform Medical Plan CDHP

Enrolling in a CDHP plan with an HSA

Employees must ensure that they meet the IRS eligibility requirements to enroll in a CDHP with an HSA. If an employee elects to enroll in a CDHP plan with an HSA but is not eligible, they may be liable for tax penalties.

The PEBB Program does not expect employers to counsel employees on their eligibility or choices, including the CDHP, the HSA, or any other PEBB offering. We suggest employers refer inquiring employees to the available resources on the Public employees website, the employee’s tax advisor, and to HealthEquity for help related to the HSA.

When an employee enrolls in a CDHP, HealthEquity opens a health savings account and mails a member welcome kit to the employee. The employee owns the HSA and all funds that are deposited into it and is responsible for tracking and managing their HSA.

Employees enrolled in a CDHP with an HSA may also enroll in:

  • A Limited Purpose FSA and/or
  • The Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) in the same plan year.

The FSA and DCAP benefits provided by the PEBB Program are only available to eligible employees of state agencies and higher-education institutions.

Learn more about PEBB medical plans with health savings accounts.

Health savings account contributions

Health savings accounts (HSAs) are funded by employer and employee contributions. Funds are available to the employee as they are deposited.

An HSA balance can grow over the years, earn interest tax free, and build savings that individuals can use to pay for health care as needed, or pay for Medicare Part B premiums. Unused funds remaining in an HSA at the end of the year carry over to future years, even upon separation of employment and retirement.

Learn more about qualifying expenses in the The Complete HSA Guidebook.

Employer contribution

The employer contribution is taken from the total rate paid by the employer to the PEBB Program for each eligible employee enrolled in a CDHP and deposited into the HSAs each month.

Once the employer contribution has been deposited, the funds belong to the employee and can only be retrieved if the employee was never eligible to be enrolled in an HSA.

The employer contribution, deposited by the PEBB Program, does not impact employer or employee taxes.

The amount of the employer contribution is determined by whether the employee is enrolled in the CDHP alone or has one or more dependents enrolled with them.

People covered on CDHP

Deposited monthly into HSA

Total deposited by the end of the plan year*

Employee only



Employee with one or more dependents



*Employees who enroll midyear will only receive the employer contribution for the months in which they are enrolled in the CDHP.

Employee contribution

Employees enrolled in a CDHP may contribute money to their HSA in either of two ways:

Employees must ensure that the total of all contributions do not exceed the IRS annual limit. The IRS annual limit includes the employer and employee contributions and the $125 SmartHealth wellness incentive, if earned.

Discretionary payroll deductions to the HSA​

  • State agencies and higher-education institutions offer discretionary payroll deductions for the HSA.
  • PEBB participating employer groups who wish to make payroll deductions available must be capable of making an Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) using routing information and health savings account numbers.
    • The payroll deduction option can be initiated at any time during the year. Contact the HealthEquity employer contact, Kim Cardwell at 801-727-1062 or kcardwell@HealthEquity.com for details.
    • To request employee health savings account and routing numbers, contact Outreach & Training. Include the employee's full name and SSN in your request.

For PEBB participating employer groups who have their own (non-PEBB) Medical Flexible Spending Arrangement: Employees enrolled in a CDHP with an HSA are not eligible to enroll in a medical FSA at the same time, however, they may enroll in a limited purpose FSA (funds used only for vision and dental care).

  • All employers:
    • For newly eligible employees who select the CDHP with an HSA within their 31-day eligibility window, payroll deductions begin the same day as the employee’s coverage effective date.
    • Employers must allow employees to change their contribution at least once a month (12 times per year) per IRS regulations. Changes made to HSA contributions via payroll deduction must be prospective and made before the employee’s salary is available.
    • For employers that make VEBA contributions to active employees, you will need to determine if the VEBA account can be made limited purpose. Employees who choose the CDHP will then be limited in their use of VEBA dollars to non-medical purposes only (e.g., dental, vision).
    • The reconciliation of payroll deductions made for an employee’s HSA contribution is between the employer and HealthEquity. Errors in employee payroll deductions into the HSA can be corrected by adjusting future HSA payroll deductions.
    • Given the IRS’s ruling that premium based contributions deposited into the HSA are essentially irretrievable in the event of an erroneous deposit, once an eligible employee has enrolled in the CDHP with the HSA it will be very important to stay current on keying or alerting PEBB Outreach & Training (if we key for you) of situations where the employer contribution to the HSA should be reduced or discontinued (e.g. separations from employment, loss of benefit eligibility, all dependents are removed from the account). The critical date for keying or alerting PEBB is typically before the 23rd of the month.
    • Payroll deductions for the HSA must be discontinued once an employee is no longer enrolled in the CDHP.


Kim Cardwell
For setting up discretionary payroll deductions (employer contact only)
Phone: 801-727-1062
Email: kcardwell@HealthEquity.com

For CDHP/HSA eligibility questions
Kaiser Permanente CDHP members: 1-877-873-8823 (TRS: 711)
UMP CDHP members: 1-844-351-6853 (TRS: 711)

The plans
For CDHP information

For HSA information