A spouse not included in an employer-sponsored health-insurance plan can set up a health savings account, even if the other spouse and their...

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WASHINGTON — A spouse not included in an employer-sponsored health-insurance plan can set up a health savings account, even if the other spouse and their children are covered by that spouse’s employer with insurance that doesn’t meet the HSA requirements, the Treasury Department has ruled.

HSAs are tax-free savings/investment accounts meant to accompany a high-deductible health-insurance plan. The account can be used to pay costs not covered by insurance, but account holders can keep money they don’t spend.

The idea in this “consumer-driven” approach is that individuals will curb their health-care spending if they get to benefit from the savings, and that will put downward pressure on medical costs.