To qualify for an Archer MSA, per Publication 969, "you must be either of the following:
- An employee (or the spouse of an employee) of a small employer (see below for what qualifies as a "small employer") that maintains a self-only or family High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) (see below) for you (or your spouse)
- A self-employed person (or the spouse of a self-employed person) who maintains a self-only or family HDHP.
You can have no other health or Medicare coverage except what is permitted under Other health coverage, later. You must be an eligible individual on the first day of a given month to get an Archer MSA deduction for that month.
Small employer. A small employer is generally an employer who had an average of 50 or fewer employees during either of the last 2 calendar years. The definition of small employer is modified for new employers and growing employers.
Growing employer. A small employer may begin HDHPs and Archer MSAs for his or her employees and then grow beyond 50 employees. The employer will continue to meet the requirement for small employers if he or she:
- Had 50 or fewer employees when the Archer MSAs began,
- Made a contribution that was excluded or deductible as an Archer MSA for the last year he or she had 50 or fewer employees, and
- Had an average of 200 or fewer employees each year after 1996."
High deductible health plan (HDHP). "To be eligible for an Archer MSA, you must have an HDHP. An HDHP has:
- A higher annual deductible than typical health plans, and
- A maximum limit on the annual out-of-pocket medical expenses that you must pay for covered expenses."
Other health coverage. "You (and your spouse, if you have family coverage) generally cannot have any other health coverage that is not an HDHP. However, you can still be an eligible individual even if your spouse has non-HDHP coverage provided you are not covered by that plan. However, you can have additional insurance that provides benefits only for the following items:
- Liabilities incurred under workers' compensation laws, torts, or ownership or use of property.
- A specific disease or illness.
- A fixed amount per day (or other period) of hospitalization.
You can also have coverage (whether provided through insurance or otherwise) for the following items:
- Dental care
- Vision care
- Long-term care"