The UC Health Savings Plan (HSP) is a high-deductible PPO (preferred provider organization) paired with a health savings account (HSA), a federal tax-free account maintained by HealthEquity, to help pay your out-of-pocket costs.

The HSA has a “use-it-or-keep-it” feature, so your account balance rolls over annually and continues to grow tax-free. You own your account, so money you don’t use toward eligible health care expenses goes with you when you leave the HSP, when you end your employment with UC or when you retire.

Use the HSA comparison tool ( to find out whether UC HSP is right for you. (Please note that scenarios and calculations presented in this tool are example estimates only and are not intended as tax or financial advice. Individual costs and savings may vary.)

The IRS and UC have rules in place that limit who can enroll in this plan. You are not eligible to enroll in UC HSP if you:

  • Are already enrolled in Medicare. Medicare eligibility usually begins at age 65 and you can be retroactively enrolled in Medicare Part A, unless you can postpone your Medicare enrollment. Medicare Part A is mandatory for those who receive Social Security income. Check with Social Security to determine your eligibility to postpone Medicare enrollment.
  • Are a retiree who was not enrolled in UC HSP while you were employed by UC. If you are enrolled in UC HSP when you retire, you may continue your enrollment in the plan as long as you are not enrolled in Medicare.
  • Are covering a family member who is enrolled in Medicare, unless you disenroll your Medicare-enrolled family member from your coverage. 
  • Plan to enroll in UC’s Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA), or have any balance as of December 31 of the previous plan year in UC's Health FSA. You may forfeit any unused Health FSA funds for the plan year, including carryover funds, by faxing your signed, completed Health FSA Carryover Waiver Form to WageWorks by Dec. 31 at 888-866-3312. 

2018 plan changes 

Pharmacy benefits changes

For 2018, Anthem Blue Cross administers pharmacy benefits for UC HSP and UC’s other preferred provider organization (PPO) medical plans, and continues to administer medical and behavioral health benefits. The administrator of your plan processes claims, creates a network of health care providers or pharmacies and sets clinical policies and guidelines.

UC and Anthem are working to minimize disruption during this transition. For the most part, open prescriptions will transfer automatically, and prior authorizations will remain in effect after the transition. Anthem will reach out with more information about changes that may affect you, and you can find answers to some commonly asked questions here.

Your current covered medications will continue to be covered, but the cost of your medications may change. You may want to talk to your doctor about an alternative drug that is on the formulary to help you manage your costs.

UC HSP members can now get a 90-day supply of prescriptions at CVS and selected Anthem Retail90 pharmacies, as well as continue at UC Medical Center pharmacies, Walgreens, Safeway/Vons and Costco. Oral contraceptives may now be dispensed up to a 12-month supply at one time.

Live Health Online now includes psychiatrists

Appointments are available through Live Health Online 24/7, with cost sharing of 20 percent after the deductible. See for information about cost, requirements and how to get started.

Cost sharing eliminated for some preventive care

Low- to moderate-dose statins are covered at $0 copay for cardiovascular disease prevention, provided certain criteria are met. Screenings for preeclampsia using blood pressure measurement throughout pregnancy are also covered at $0 copay.

Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits

For 2018, the individual contribution limit for the HSA has increased (per IRS rules) from $3,400 to $3,450. The family limit has increased from $6,750 to $6,900. People age 55 and over can continue to make an additional “catch-up” contribution of $1,000, using the UPAY850 form (employees only). For more information about HSA contributions, including separate rules for domestic partners, please see “About the HSA” below.

ID cards

Whether you are new to UC HSP or continuing your enrollment, you and each of your family members will get a new ID card from Anthem Blue Cross that you can use to access medical care, behavioral health services and prescription medications. Anthem began mailing ID cards on Dec. 18, 2017.

Need a copy of your ID card? Register and log in to the Anthem website to print a copy, or call Anthem (844-437-0486) to request your ID number.

New HSP members will receive HSA debit cards from HealthEquity. HSA debit cards are valid for three years from their issue date; current HSP members will not receive a new card unless their card has expired. 

About UC HSP

  • You can choose any doctor, hospital or behavioral health provider you wish, but services obtained from providers in the Anthem Blue Cross PPO network cost less.
  • Preventive care from in-network providers is covered at 100% without the need to meet your deductible.
  • For all other services and prescriptions, you pay 100% of the cost, until you meet the deductible. The in-network deductible is $1,350 for individual coverage and $2,700 for family coverage; the out-of-network deductible is $2,550 for individual coverage and $5,100 for family coverage. For family coverage, the family deductible must be met before the plan pays benefits for any family member.
  • Once you meet the deductible, you pay 20% for Anthem Blue Cross PPO network providers and 40% for out-of-network providers.
  • Annual out-of-pocket maximums limit what you pay for covered services. If you reach the annual maximum, the plan pays 100% of your covered medical and prescription drug costs for the rest of the year. The maximums for in-network services are $4,000 for individual coverage and $6,400 for family coverage. Out-of-network maximums are $8,000 for individual coverage and $16,000 for family coverage. For family coverage, the family out-of-pocket maximum must be met before the plan pays 100% of covered expenses for any family member.

Using your HSA for medical expenses

  • As an HSP member, you can use your HSA funds to pay for your plan’s deductible and/or out-of-pocket maximum for all eligible health care expenses, or you can save your HSA funds until you turn 65. For a complete list of eligible expenses, read the IRS Publication 502 on the IRS website.
  • For your convenience, all your claims from UC plans under Anthem, VSP and Delta Dental will be sent to HealthEquity. Make sure you only request reimbursement for those claims that are incurred after you have established your HSA.
  • After you receive services, your provider will bill your plan (Anthem Blue Cross, VSP or Delta Dental). Your plan will send you an Explanation of Benefits explaining what’s covered, and your provider will send you an invoice for what you owe. If you choose to pay your invoice using HSA funds, you can: 
    • pay your bill with your HSA debit card
    • pay your provider directly through the HealthEquity portal
    • use another method of payment and request reimbursement through the HealthEquity portal
  • When you fill or refill a prescription, the pharmacy will verify your coverage and prescription costs. You can choose to pay with your HSA debit card, pay for the prescription through the HealthEquity portal or use another method of payment and request reimbursement through the HealthEquity portal.

About the HSA

  • You and UC contribute to the HSA, up to the limits set each year by the IRS -- $3,450 for individual coverage and $6,900 for family coverage. People age 55 and over can make an additional “catch-up” contribution of $1,000, using the UPAY850 form (employees only).
  • If you are covering your domestic partner under this plan, both you and your partner can establish an HSA and you may both contribute up to $3,450 (for an individual HSA) or $6,900 (if you also enroll an additional family member) for the year.
  • If you are an employee, your pretax contributions are taken from your paycheck each month, lowering your tax bill. Retirees make after-tax contributions directly to HealthEquity and take the tax benefit when filing federal income taxes.
  • UC contributes $500 per year for individual coverage and $1,000 for family coverage. This one-time UC contribution to your HSA is based on your coverage level as of Jan. 1, and will not be adjusted midyear if your coverage level changes. Remember to reduce your total contribution by the amount UC contributes to your HSA to comply with the IRS limits above.
  • If your coverage through UC Health Savings Plan begins any time after January, your HSA will be prorated for the calendar year based on this schedule. However, the plan deductible is not prorated. If you continue the plan the following year, you will receive the full HSA beginning January 1.
  • When you’re ready to use your funds, you can take them out of your HSA without paying any federal taxes. Contributions and earnings are currently subject to California income tax.
  • You earn interest on your account, and can invest any funds in excess of your $1,000 balance — the same way you invest funds in retirement savings accounts, except interest accrues federal tax-free.
  • You must have a valid Social Security number and U.S. address to establish your HSA.
  • You cannot enroll or have any balance as of December 31 in UC's Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA) if you enroll in the UC Health Savings Plan effective January 1 of the following year.
  • Here are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to become an HSP member. You are responsible in administering your Health Savings Account (HSA). As an HSA owner, you decide: 
    • Whether you are eligible to make contributions to an HSA
    • The amount of the eligible contribution to the HSA for any calendar year
    • The withdrawal of any excess contributions
    • How funds in your HSA will be spent, and
    • Whether the distributions from your HSA are taxable or non-taxable.
  • You cannot delegate these responsibilities to either the University or to HealthEquity. Since as HSA owner you are in control of the HSA, you are responsible for reporting all contributions and distributions to the IRS on your Form 1040. If you make any errors and do not correct them timely, you must pay additional tax and/or penalties to the IRS.

Best fit for you if:

  • You want direct access to all providers without need for referrals
  • You want federal tax-free savings for current and future health care costs
  • You are able to risk incurring greater out-of-pocket costs
  • You want to build a retirement savings for future health care costs for you and your eligible family members

Monthly plan costs for faculty and staff

Retiree plan costs chart »

Pay Band
(per annum)
Self Self +
Self +
$54,000 and under $19.83 $35.70 $43.44 $59.29
$54,001–$107,000 $55.88 $100.59 $125.74 $170.43
$107,001–$161,000 $92.88 $167.19 $199.50 $273.79
$161,001 and above $131.19 $236.15 $275.92 $380.86

Typical out-of-pocket costs

Once you've met the deductible, you pay:

  • Office visit/urgent care visit: preferred provider: 20%; non-preferred provider: 40%; (in-network preventive care has no charge)
  • Emergency room: 20%
  • Hospital stay: 20% in-network; 40% out-of-network
  • Prescription drugs: 20% if purchased from in-network pharmacy; 40% from out-of-network pharmacy