Correcting Mistaken HSA Distributions

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Health savings accounts (HSAs) have become popular for many employees seeking to efficiently manage their health care expenses. HSAs empower you to save for current and future medical costs by offering a unique blend of tax advantages and flexibility. However, navigating the complexities of HSAs, particularly distributions, can sometimes lead to unintended errors.

Understanding HSAs

HSAs are tax-advantaged savings accounts available to individuals enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). These accounts allow participants to set aside pre-tax dollars to cover qualified medical expenses, such as doctor visits, prescriptions, and certain medical procedures. Unlike flexible spending accounts, funds in HSAs roll over from year to year and accumulate tax-free interest, making them a powerful tool for long-term health care planning.

Contributions to HSAs can come from both employees and employers. HSAs are subject to individual and family coverage annual contribution limits determined by the IRS. Keep in mind that if you roll HSA funds over from one account into another, those funds do not count towards the contribution limit.

Distributions from HSAs are tax-free if they’re used to pay for qualified medical expenses. However, if funds are withdrawn for nonqualified expenses before the age of 65, they are subject to both income tax and a 20% penalty. After age 65, nonqualified distributions are taxed as ordinary income but not subject to the additional penalty.

Correcting Mistaken HSA Distributions

Despite your best intentions, you may sometimes make errors when it comes to HSA distributions. HSAs come with a specific set of rules, deadlines, and potential penalties. The IRS allows you to correct “mistaken distributions.” You must have made the mistake due to a “reasonable cause” and have “clear and convincing” evidence to support that’s what happened. You must return the money no later than April 15 following the year you knew about or should have realized the mistake.

Common mistakes include using funds for nonqualified expenses, withdrawing funds, or depositing too much. Fortunately, you can take the following five steps to correct these errors and mitigate any potential penalties.

  1. Identify and report the mistake. The first step in correcting a mistaken HSA distribution is identifying the error. Review your HSA transactions and ensure all distributions were used for qualified medical expenses. If you discover any nonqualified withdrawals, note the amount and the distribution date. It’s important to report the mistake after identifying it. After you report the mistake to the custodian, the custodian reports it to the IRS.
  2. Reimburse the HSA. If you’ve mistakenly used HSA funds for nonqualified expenses, you must repay the distribution amount back into your HSA by the tax filing deadline for the year in which the distribution occurred. By reimbursing your HSA, you can avoid the income tax and the 20% penalty on nonqualified distributions.
  3. Withdraw the excess contribution. If you’ve mistakenly contributed too much to your HSA, you can withdraw and handle the excess amount as taxable income for the year. Just make sure you withdraw before the due date of that year’s tax return and withdraw any income earned on the excess contribution (e.g., dividends and interest). If you don’t withdraw the amount before the tax deadline, you will still have to pay a 6% excise tax for that year. However, if you reduce your contribution by the same amount the following year, that excise tax won’t be applied to subsequent years.
  4. Keep detailed records. To avoid future mistakes, keeping detailed records of your HSA transactions and expenses is crucial. Save receipts for all qualified medical expenses and maintain accurate contribution and distribution records. These HSA records will help you identify any errors and provide documentation in the event of an IRS audit.
  5. Seek professional guidance. If you’re unsure how to correct a mistaken HSA distribution or navigate the complexities of HSA rules, don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance. A tax advisor or financial planner can provide personalized advice based on your situation and help you avoid pitfalls. 

HSAs offer significant benefits for saving and investing, such as tax advantages and flexibility for managing health care expenses. However, navigating these accounts’ rules and regulations can be challenging, and it’s essential to understand the rules governing distributions to avoid unintended consequences. By understanding the basics of HSA distributions and taking proactive steps to correct any mistaken distributions, employees like you can maximize the benefits of their HSAs while avoiding costly penalties. Remember to keep detailed records, seek professional guidance when needed, and stay informed about changes to HSA rules and regulations to maximize this valuable savings tool.

Contact us today for more guidance and coverage solutions. To connect with an Acentria Insurance team member, visit our locations page to find an office near you, or give our team a call to discuss your best coverage options at 866.374.5084.


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Rob Wagner

Executive Vice President | Director of Sales, Southeast Region

With over 15 years of insurance industry experience, Rob focuses on growing organic growth throughout the entire Southeast region for both Acentria Insurance and Foundation Risk Partners. Working alongside both executive leadership and territory sales leaders, Rob is instrumental in producer training, increasing retention and expanding our organizational footprint.

As a self-proclaimed Army Brat, he was born in Fort Benning, GA, but has moved 27 times and resided in 40 different houses… all before college! His father proudly served our country for 28 years! As a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Business Management, Rob also holds an MBA from Stetson University. A producer at heart, he specializes in large property, senior living, management liability and workers’ compensation. He enjoys meeting new team members and finds his personal success in seeing producers succeed.

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife of 22 years and their two daughters. Together they enjoy boating, offshore fishing and exercising.

Mike Freeman

Mergers & Acquisitions

Leading the Acentria Mergers & Acquisitions team, Mike works with those agency principals and leaders who are interested in furthering a potential partnership with Acentria Insurance.  With over 35 years of finance and insurance experience, Mike and his team showcase the various benefits of partnering with Acentria. He works with principals through the initial phases to evaluate agency operations, books of business as well as planning and implementing fully comprehensive migration and implementation plans. He served 25 years in the banking industry in various executive-level positions transitioning to insurance in 2011 as Chief Financial Officer for Acentria Insurance. In 2017, Acentria Insurance partnered with Foundation Risk Partners where his major focus became leading Acentria Insurance’s mergers and acquisitions team.  

Mike is a graduate of Auburn University. He is dedicated to serving his community having held numerous leadership positions including Chairman for the American Heart Association; Chairman Mental Health Association; Chairman Destin Chamber of Commerce and Board Member for United Way Okaloosa-Walton Counties. Mike is a 27-year resident of Destin, FL and enjoys spending time with his wife of 35 years, Yvonne and their two adult children and their families.

Jenny Cirioni

Vice President, Operations
Northeast, Florida

Todd Lawrence

Executive Vice President
Southeast Florida

Rob Wagner

Executive Vice President
Southwest Florida Region

Alan Florez

Executive Vice President, National Sales

Alan leads new business growth strategies and expansion, guides the development of resources and training for Sales Producers and their partnerships with Carriers. With over 15 years of industry experience, Alan also leads the Acentria Public Risk divisions working with municipalities and government entities for their coverage needs. He was appointed to the Halifax Health Board of Commissioners December 2020 and also serves as an Executive Committee member for our parent company, Foundation Risk Partners.

Previously, Alan served as Governor Jeb Bush’s Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Assistant. He is a former member of the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees and currently volunteers his time with the Florida Council of 100, Futures Foundation of Volusia County Schools and the Community Foundation of Flagler and Volusia. Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Central Florida.

Anne Kraus

Senior Vice President
Commercial Lines Operations

Teresa Fillmon

Vice President
Small Business Unit

Alex Doberstein

Vice President
Benefits Resource Leader

Eric Austin

Operations Lead
Port St. Lucie & West Palm Beach

Luke Wolkers

Executive Vice President
Employee Benefits

Chris Tolland

Executive Vice President
Northeast Florida Sales

Brian Stanton

Executive Vice President
Southeast Florida

Nathan Marks

Executive Vice President
Northwest Florida

Jason Cruse

Executive Vice President
Central Florida Sales

Jackie Shaw

Senior Vice President
Agency Operations

Jessica Parkhurst

Senior Vice President
Marketing & Branding

Doreen Castro

Senior Vice President
Personal Lines Operations

Kendall McEachern


Kendall was a fundamental part of Acentria Insurance. As a co-founder, he brought more than 30 years of industry expertise to Acentria, helping transform the organization into a leading insurance provider. Beloved by team members, carrier partners and clients, he oversaw more than 400,000 insured multi-family units with property values greater than $22 billion, and over four million square feet of commercial office space and real estate buildings. Kendall has received numerous industry awards to include being recognized as a National Top Producer and Agent of the Year by both Insurance Business America and Insurance Journal. Away from the office, he served as chairman for the American Heart Association, actively participated in his church and golfing, watching sports and spending time with his family. Kendall passed away in January of 2021, leaving a lasting legacy on Acentria’s culture, success, industry-wide reputation – and on all of us fortunate to have worked alongside him.

Mary Lawless

President & Chief Operating Officer

As President and Chief Operating Officer, Mary brings over three decades of industry expertise to Acentria Insurance. With a strong focus on Mergers & Acquisitions, Mary is passionate about partnering with new agencies and leaders to continue the overall upward growth of Acentria. She works in conjunction with the CEO to lead and deliver specialized sales products, services and industry leading capabilities while implementing business and sales strategies to the Acentria sales team and carrier partners. Mary has direct oversight of all operational leaders throughout the entire organizational footprint and is responsible for operational financials and budgets.

She empowers her team members and because of it, is well respected by her peers and those she leads. Since her time with Acentria, Mary’s leadership has contributed to the agency’s exponential growth from 15 to well over 50 locations, increasing employment to over 700 team members, across the southeastern United States. Due to her leadership and contributions to the insurance industry, she has been nationally recognized as one of Insurance Business America magazine’s Elite Women and serves as a valuable member on the Executive Committee for Foundation Risk Partners, Acentria’s parent company. Prior to joining Acentria Insurance, Mary led operations for another national broker. Throughout her tenure, she has held a variety of management positions in Personal Lines, Select Business and Employee Benefits. Mary specializes in agency operations, partnerships and acquisitions and is truly passionate about developing team members to become great leaders.

When not shaping the future industry leaders at Acentria Insurance, Mary enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, Pat and their family and friends.

Mitch Weinstein

Partner & Co-Founder

As partner of Acentria Insurance, Mitch plays an integral role in mergers & acquisitions. He focuses on seeking out strategic like-minded partners and agencies, across the southeastern United States, to partner and join the Acentria family.

Mitch has over 42 years of business leadership experience that ranges from law enforcement to the finance, healthcare and insurance industries. He was instrumental in developing the nation’s first “at-risk” managed care network for physical and occupational therapy serving the worker’s compensation industry. This network paved the way for a new managed care system, based on incentives.

Mitch is passionate about giving back to the youth of his community. He is an active supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County and believes in helping all young people reach their full potential. He is also the founder of Fallen First Reserve which is a non-profit organization dedicated to financially assisting those family members of First Responders killed in the line of duty and military members killed in action. Mitch also serves on the board for Fund the First.

Kevin Mason

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

As Chief Executive Office of Acentria Insurance, Kevin focuses on developing insurance solutions that strengthen Acentria’s presence in the market and its commitment to client-relationships and exceptional service. With over 35 years of industry experience, he specializes in the overall growth of Acentria is passionate about bringing new talent to the organization both organically and through mergers and acquisitions. Through his leadership and the support of the Executive Leadership team, Acentria Insurance instills a positive corporate culture which has led the agency in being recognized as a leader within our industry as a Top 100 Workplace, Employer of Choice, Best Agency to Work For and several other national and regional accolades.

Before co-founding Acentria Insurance, Kevin served as Branch Manager for another national broker. Kevin holds the prestigious title as an Agent of the Year and five-time National Top Producer. He is also a key member of the Foundation Risk Partners Executive Committee, which is the parent company of Acentria Insurance, while also serving as the National Director for Carrier Relations. In addition, Kevin oversees the Sales Leadership Council, which encompasses sales leaders across the entire FRP footprint in an effort to develop and refine shared resources while offering producer training and development programs.

Kevin received a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the University of West Florida. He is very active in his community and served over a decade on the Board of Directors of Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation and remains as a trustee, which funds over 14 children’s charities along the Florida Panhandle. He is also a member of the Destin Chamber of Commerce, Community Association Institute and Florida Association of Insurance Agents. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys golfing, tennis, boating and spending time with his wife Laura, and their children.