A Health Savings Account, commonly called an HSA, is a tax-advantaged medical savings account made available by many employers. They are especially popular among workers with high-deductible health insurance plans because they allow you to contribute funds to be set aside for medical expenses, and these contributions are not subject to federal income tax. Funds can be used throughout the year on qualifying expenses, but they also carry over from year to year if unused. This allows many people to amass a tidy little sum over time, as their HSA grows into a valuable financial asset.
Like many other financial accounts, HSA owners can also designate beneficiaries to take ownership of the account funds if they should pass away. This leads to HSA benefits oftentimes becoming unclaimed assets. If a beneficiary doesn’t know they are entitled to a benefit, or the company cannot locate the beneficiary due to a change of address or name, the HSA funds may sit unclaimed in government accounts. Currently, there are nearly five million dormant HSA accounts, with an average value of $1,850.
If you think you may be owed an unclaimed Health Savings Account benefit, here’s what to do.
Follow the Paper Trail
If you have access to your loved one’s documents and files, you may very well be able to locate paperwork relevant to the company providing the HSA account. Even if you can’t find the specific documentation, you may be able to track regular contributions through a checking or savings account that are routed to the HSA account. In this instance, your loved one’s bank may be able to provide a company name for you to follow-up with.
Contact Your Loved One’s Former Employer
Since Health Savings Accounts are typically made available through employers, this is a smart place to turn in tracking down your loved one’s lost HSA. A company’s human resources department may have information on file, or they may be able to direct you to an outside representative who manages employees’ HSA needs.
Use an Unclaimed Assets Database
If you don’t have any luck with the commonsense paperwork and employer leads in trying to find Health Savings Account benefits you may be entitled to, you might need to conduct a search on a broader scale. Fortunately, there is a user-friendly way to do so – and it’s free of charge, too. Visit the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website and use their resources to search unclaimed asset files from all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Be sure to search all states in which your loved one lived or worked in order to have the best chance of locating the asset you’re looking for.
Unclaimed Health Savings Account benefits can provide a measure of financial security to those who are able to locate their missing assets. The process for locating these benefits and submitting claims to take ownership of them isn’t always easy, but the reward of locating the money your loved one meant for you outweighs the challenges.