The Internal Revenue Service has come out with regulations that will affect employer-sponsored health savings account contribution programs.

One provision in the final regulations, which appear today in the Federal Register, establishes procedures for handling employees fail to set up HSAs by Dec. 31.

Employers normally have to provide comparable HSA contributions for all employees eligible for an HSA contribution program.

An employer can deal with the HSA-less employees by notifying them in writing by Jan. 15 of the following year about the eligibility of HSA contributions, officials write in a preamble to the final regulations.

If those employees set up HSAs by the last day of February, employers must put the comparable contributions in those HSAs by April 15, officials write.

A second section of the final regulations permits employers to provide accelerated contributions for employees who become ill and use up their HSA assets before the end of the plan year.

To offer accelerated contribution payments to any employee, an employer must come up with reasonable uniform methods for contribution accelerations and medical expense determinations, officials write.