Regulators have released another batch of guidance on what health savings account plan sponsors should do to treat employees fairly.

The Internal Revenue Service has published the guidance in the form of final regulations. The final regulations, which take effect today, are based on a draft released in July 2008.

The final regulations are similar to the draft regulations, and they provide, for example, that employers do not have to provide the same distributions to employees who have opted out of an HSA program that they provide for employees with HSAs, IRS officials write in a preamble to the proposed regulations that appears today in the Federal Register.

Another section provides that an employer can provide the maximum HSA contribution for new employees who become eligible to participate in an HSA program mid-year, as well as for employees who join the program at the beginning of the year.

A copy of the final regulations is available here.