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Further Learning Site

Choosing Beneficiaries for your HSA

Learn why beneficiaries are important and how to add or change the beneficiaries on your account.

We recommend all health savings account (HSA) holders designate a beneficiary so that in the event of death, the funds in the account are dispersed appropriately.

What is a beneficiary? 

A beneficiary is a person, group of people, trust, or estate that receives the funds in your account when you die.  

Types of beneficiaries 

There are two types of beneficiaries:

  • Primary beneficiary - Receives 100% of your account balance upon your death
  • Contingent beneficiary - Receives the account balance if the primary beneficiary has already passed away at the time of your death

You can name more than one person as your primary beneficiary and more than one person as your contingent beneficiary. 

When naming more than one person, indicate the specific whole-number percentage of your balance to be paid to each beneficiary. Make sure your primary allocation percentages total 100% and your contingent allocation percentages total 100% as well.

Effects of naming spouse as beneficiary 

If you’re married and do not name someone other than your spouse as beneficiary, upon your death, your spouse becomes owner of your HSA, allowing him or her to:

  • Take tax-free distributions from the HSA for qualified medical expenses
  • Maintain tax-free growth of the funds in the account
  • Contribute to the account if he or she has HSA-qualified insurance

Your spouse will not lose the ability to make tax-free withdrawals for qualified medical expenses if he or she does not qualify to contribute to the HSA.

Effects of naming someone other than your spouse as beneficiary 

The HSA ends on the date of your death if you name someone other than your spouse as your beneficiary. The account is no longer an HSA.

Your beneficiary receives a distribution and the fair-market value is considered part of his or her taxable income.  However, your beneficiary's taxable income is reduced if they pay for any of your qualified medical expenses within a year of your death.

In cases where no beneficiary is named, the estate is considered the beneficiary, and the funds in the account will be included on your final income tax return.

How to add beneficiaries

Adding primary beneficiaries

  1. Sign into www.hellofurther.com
  2. Click the My Profile menu
  3. Choose See all settings 
  4. Choose the HSA Beneficiary Designation menu item
  5. In the Primary Beneficiaries section, click the Update button
  6. Click the Add Beneficiary button
  7. On the My Profile: Add Beneficiary screen, fill out the new beneficiary form and click Save

Adding contingent beneficiaries

Contingent beneficiaries can't be added on the member portal.

To add a contingent beneficiary to your account, call customer service at 1-800-859-2144.  The beneficiary's name and social security number are required for this process.

How to edit beneficiary information

  1. Sign into www.hellofurther.com
  2. Click the My Profile menu
  3. Choose the HSA Beneficiary Designation menu item
  4. In the Primary Beneficiaries section, click the Edit link
  5. Update the beneficiary's information
  6. Click Save

How to remove beneficiaries

  1. Sign into www.hellofurther.com
  2. Click the My Profile menu
  3. Choose the HSA Beneficiary Designation menu item
  4. In the Primary Beneficiaries section, click the Remove link
  5. On the Remove Beneficiary screen, click Save to remove the beneficiary