Tony Novak profile picture
  "AskTony" column archive        


Most Popular

AskTony Archive

This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

The author is paid for product endorsements and has an ownership or other financial interest in the businesses related to the topics covered.

New questions

Submit consumer finance questions at and health insurance questions at

Sponsored by: Insurance Exchange - your source of valuable information on state and federal health reform benefits.

Core Health Insurance - America's favorite mini-med insurance  with affordable premiums, freedom to choose providers, optional PPO discounts and guaranteed eligibility regardless of medical conditions.

Please support the Web sites that make publication of AskTony services possible.

Health Savings Account Group policy

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I am in a retirees group, which obtains health insurance in conjunction with active employees for a City workforce. Some of us have been asking the retiree's group Administrator and Pension Board to look into getting those of us between the ages of 55 & 65, info. on HSA's since the beginning of 2004, without any luck. So, I have struck out on my own to find someone who handles these HSA accounts. The bank I have been dealing with, 1st HSA, has been told that I have not got an individually PURCHASED policy. Rather, that we, as a group of retirees, are, each Fall offered different types of coverage, ranging from HMO's to individual & family plans with High Deductibles. I have individual coverage with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. The policy premiums are deducted from my pension check by the retiree's group Administrator, and sent, along with all other retiree's premiums, who have elected that insurance each month, to the company. Is the fact that I am in a group, a reason I would be disqualified from establishing an HSA.

A: It does not matter whether your health insurance is a group policy or an individual health insurance policy. The primary requirement for participating in the health savings account program is that your insurance must have a deductible and out-of-pocket expense limit within the prescribed limits. It seems that your current policy does not meet these requirements and it is possible that either your Blue Cross does not have an HSA-qualified insurance policy or the employer has chosen to not offer that option in the employee benefit plan. This occurs when health benefits are negotiated through a labor union contract and cannot be unilaterally modified by the employer. Unions have generally not embraced health savings accounts because of the reduction in insured health benefits. More detail on HSA eligibility can be found at in the "Frequently Asked Questions" section at


More resources: