Weekly HSA News – August 1, 2022

News from Washington
Manchin, Schumer Announce Slimmed-Down Deal on Climate, Taxes, Health
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) struck a climate, health and tax package deal, weeks after Manchin seemingly had scuttled any chance of an agreement. The deal will be part of the budget reconciliation package that Senate Democrats plan to bring to the floor next week and pass on a party-line vote, circumventing a Republican filibuster under Senate rules.   Read More
Democrats’ Insulin Dilemma
Even if Democrats soon pass a massive health care bill on a party line vote, there’s a chance they could fail to deliver on one of their most politically appealing drug price reforms: capping what patients pay out-of-pocket for insulin. Insulin-specific policies are absent from a compromise reconciliation deal while a bipartisan pair of senators push standalone insulin legislation.   Read More
Out-of-Pocket Cap Will Increase the Net Price of Insulin, Congressional Budget Office Tells Senate Bill Sponsors
A bill that would cap out-of-pocket insulin costs for the insured at $35 per month remains in limbo as the Congressional Budget Office told the two Senate sponsors of the bill that it will likely increase net prices for insulin, and will increase premiums for commercial health insurance and Medicare Part D. The comments from the CBO may spell the end for the bill.   Read More
Biden Officials Remind Insurers They Must Cover Birth Control for Free
The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury issued guidance reminding insurers of the legal obligation under Obamacare to provide contraceptive coverage for free. Officials said the guidance was issued in response to increasing complaints from individuals and covered dependents about not receiving this coverage.   Read More
ACA Challenged in Court Over Preventive Services
The Affordable Care Act was the subject of another round of court arguments on July 26. This time the issue is whether the law’s provision that requires payers to cover preventive services, including HIV prevention drugs, as well as cancer screenings and vaccinations. In this latest challenge to the ACA, a coalition of employers and individuals object to paying for certain preventive care services.   Read More
Democrats See Signs for Hope in Key Midterm Races
Democrats are seeing some reasons for optimism amid a grim political environment as they look at this year’s marquee midterm contests. Even as the party struggles with a plethora of problems — inflation, still-elevated gas prices and President Biden’s low approval ratings, among others — its candidates are putting up an unexpectedly fierce fight in many statewide races.   Read More
Former Republicans and Democrats Form New Third U.S. Political Party
Dozens of former Republican and Democratic officials announced a new national political third party to appeal to millions of voters they say are dismayed with what they see as America’s dysfunctional two-party system.The new party, called Forward, will initially be co-chaired by former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and Christine Todd Whitman, the former Republican governor of New Jersey.   Read More
HSA Compliance Corner
Can Your ICHRA Disqualify You from Making HSA Contributions? Maybe!
It’s important that employers who implement an ICHRA understand the implication of their plan design on their employees’ opportunity to open and fund a Health Savings Account. The wrong ICHRA design could cost workers several thousand dollars annually if they can’t pay their out-of-pocket expenses with pre-tax dollars.   Read More
HSA Industry Best Practices
HSA Trends We’ve Identified to Help You Boost Participation
As an employer, it can be challenging to determine how to best position HSAs since employee needs can vary. To maximize participation, how much should employers be contributing to HSAs? What’s the employer contribution sweet spot? In the second post in our blog series, we’ll show you what we’ve learned to help you and your employees get the most from these accounts.   Read More
The HSA Market
Employers Are Focused on Remodeling Workplace Benefits
Employers are focused on enhancing health and benefits packages to recruit and retain workers, according to a Mercer report. The survey found that among large employers, 41% will provide a medical plan option with a low deductible or even no deductible, such as a copay-based plan, in 2023, and 11% are considering it.   Read More
Out-of-Pocket Patient Costs Climbed Before Pandemic, Study Finds
Out-of-pocket costs paid by patients with employer-sponsored health plans rose between 2013 and 2019, before seeing a pandemic-related dip in 2020, according to a report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The increase in share of out-of-pocket costs appears to be driven by an increase in the number of workers enrolling in plans with higher deductibles, according to the report.   Read More
Morgan Health’s $30M Investment in Centivo to Power Alternative Health Plan Focused on VBC
Morgan Health, a JPMorgan Chase business unit, has made a $30 million investment in Centivo which only sells its health plans to self-funded employers with at least 51 employees. Centivo’s health plans offer free primary care, no deductible and predictable copays. On average, employees pay about $350 out-of-pocket each year, compared to the industry average of $800.   Read More
HSAs & Retirement
Back-Door Roth IRA? Why Not Walk Through the Front Door of an HSA?
A recent surge in articles about back-door Roths touts the advantages of Roth versus tax-deferred retirement accounts. But the tax savings associated with a Health Savings Accounts trump them both. Many financial advisors don’t understand the power of these accounts. But in a few minutes, you will.   Read More
Maximizing Your HSA
Don’t Keep Your HSA Balance in Cash — Put It to Work Instead
An HSA isn’t strictly a savings account. While you can treat it as a rainy-day fund and keep it all in cash, it might be a better idea to put your HSA balance to work instead, especially if you don’t anticipate any healthcare expenses in the near future or you have a substantial account balance.   Read More
Why You Won’t Regret Taking Advantage of an HSA
If you’re enrolled in an HSA-qualified plan, you’re eligible to contribute to an HSA, which is designed to help you save and invest pre-tax money to use for eligible medical, dental, and vision expenses. Using an HSA is a win-win situation: you’ll get the present benefit of the tax break and the future benefit of money that’s had time to grow and compound tax-free. Take advantage of it if you can.   Read More
What’s the Difference Between an FSA and HSA?
HSAs and FSAs offer two of the best ways to put aside money tax-free for health care expenses. Not everybody is eligible for an HSA, but just about everyone is eligible for an FSA. However, you generally can’t carry over money in an FSA into the following year. Either you use it or you lose it. An HSA offers the opportunity to build a stash of cash that can help you pay medical expenses for years or even decades. Here’s more about these accounts and which one is best for you.   Read More
Consumer-Driven Health Care
Growth of ACA Maximum Out-of-Pocket Limits Exceeds Wage Increases
The maximum out-of-pocket limit in Affordable Care Act marketplace plans is rising faster than enrollee wages and salaries, according to a new analysis. Researchers analyzed current and future out-of-pocket maximums for ACA marketplace plans and HSA-qualified plans. The limit for an HSA-qualified health plan is $7,050 but is $8,700 under the ACA in 2022. A different inflation index has led to a growing gap in the maximum out-of-pocket limits for the plan types.   Read More
Study: 2 in 3 Patients Don’t Pay Their Hospital Bills in Full
Nearly 70% of patients with hospital bills of $500 or less didn’t pay off the full balance in 2016, according to a new report. That’s a significant increase over the percentage of patients who didn’t pay their hospital bills in full in 2015 (53%) and 2014 (49%), the analysis found.   Read More
Could a Flexible Spending Account Lower Your Medical Bills?
An FSA is an employer-sponsored benefit account that can help cover healthcare costs. These accounts allow employees to set aside up to $2,850 of pretax money to cover qualifying healthcare expenses. In addition, you don’t pay taxes when money in the account is used for qualifying medical expenses. FSA account holders typically fund the account with payroll deductions through their employer.   Read More
Mark Cuban’s Pharmacy Startup Is Actually Making Drugs Less Expensive—but Experts Say It’s Solving the Wrong Problem
Mark Cuban’s new online pharmacy promises steep discounts on hundreds of prescription drugs, and for the most part, it’s delivering. The problem, experts say, is where it’s still falling short. Here’s where Cuban’s cost-cutting pharmacy is working so far, and why experts say it’s not yet a solution to America’s prescription drug price crisis.   Read More
What Is a Health Insurance Deductible?
A health insurance deductible is one way that you pay for health coverage when you need medical services. Health insurance deductibles affect not only how much you pay when you get health care, but also influence how your health insurance premiums. Health plans typically charge lower premiums for plans with higher deductibles and higher premiums for plans with lower deductibles.   Read More
What Is Coinsurance?
Health insurance has multiple types of costs that affect how much you pay during the year. One type of cost is coinsurance, which dictates how much you pay for health services after you reach your health plan’s deductible. If your health plan’s coinsurance is 20%, you pay that percentage of the bill and the health insurance company pays 80%.   Read More