Weekly HSA News – August 15, 2022

News from Washington
House Approves Sweeping Climate, Tax, Health Care Package
House Democrats passed their sweeping tax, climate and health care bill on August 12, sending the $740 billion legislation to President Biden’s desk and securing a significant victory for Democrats less than three months before the midterm elections. House passage came four days after the Senate approved the bill in a party-line vote, with Vice President Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.   Read More
Schumer: Senate Will Vote Again on $35 Insulin Cap After GOP Blocked It
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said that he is going to bring a $35 cap on patients’ insulin costs back up for a vote this fall after Republicans blocked it over the weekend. The move can help put pressure on Republicans and highlight what Democrats view as a winning issue ahead of November’s midterm elections.   Read More
Democrats See New Signs of Hope Ahead of Midterms
Democrats are seeing new glimmers of hope for the 2022 midterm elections amid a series of high-profile legislative and political victories that they say could reverse the longtime expectation of a so-called red wave in November. Recent polling shows Democrats making gains on the generic ballot, a key measure of voter preference in the midterms.   Read More
GOP Tempers Expectations for Senate Majority
Republicans are looking to manage expectations when it comes to winning back the Senate majority in November as Democrats rack up key legislative wins and some GOP candidates stumble. National Republican Senatorial Campaign Chairman Rick Scott (R-FL) acknowledged that it’s “going to be a hard year.” The tone stands in contrast to the confidence Republicans were expressing earlier this year   Read More
Biden Administration Planning to Extend COVID Emergency Declaration
The Biden administration is expected to extend the Covid-19 public health emergency once again, ensuring that federal measures expanding access to health coverage, vaccines and treatments remain in place beyond the midterm elections. The planned renewal follows extensive deliberations among Biden officials over the future of the emergency declaration.   Read More
HSA Compliance Corner
“Inflation Reduction Act” Creates HSA Safe Harbor for Insulin
Much has been said in the news media about the insulin-related provisions in the Senate-passed version of the “Inflation Reduction Act.” But a little-noticed provision elsewhere in the Schumer substitute amendment survived. This provision codifies a “safe harbor” for HSA-qualified plans that cover insulin and related products with no deductible applied and with no or limited cost-sharing.   Read More
How Much Can Non-Spouses Deposit into HSAs?
How much can you and various family members contribute to their HSAs when you’re all covered on the same HSA-qualified family plan? The answer may be more than you think. For example, an HSA-eligible individual enrolled in family coverage and not married to someone else on the contract may fund his or her account to the statutory maximum for a family contract.   Read More
HSA Industry News
UnitedHealthcare Rebrands Bind Plans as Surest as It Eyes Further Growth
UnitedHealthcare is rebranding one of its fastest-growing health plan designs–Bind–as Surest plans. The plans offer no deductibles and coinsurance as well as upfront pricing. UnitedHealthcare found that costs were 15% lower per member per month in Surest plans compared to high-deductible health plans, and members’ out-of-pocket expenses were 44% lower than those in HDHPs.   Read More
The HSA Market
Health Benefit Cost Growth Will Accelerate to 5.6% in 2023, Mercer Survey Finds
US employers expect health benefit cost per employee to rise 5.6% on average in 2023, according to early results from Mercer’s annual national survey. The projected increase of 5.6% reflects changes that employers plan to make to hold down cost. If they made no changes, respondents indicated that the cost for their largest medical plan would rise by an average of 7.0%.   Read More
Health Insurance ‘Knowledge Gap’ Is Wide as Open Enrollment Approaches
Many workers in the U.S. misunderstand basic facts about health insurance and remain unsure how to select the most appropriate health plan during annual open enrollment. As a result, they—and their employers—may be spending more than they should on health coverage. Confusion remains high around key terms such as “deductible” and “co-pay,” while the workings of HSAs and FSAs are often a mystery.   Read More
Employers Face ‘Tension’ Between Health Care And Financial Wellness
While employers increasingly are embracing financial wellness initiatives to help alleviate workers’ financial stress, employers’ selection of health insurance that requires workers to increase their share of payment for medical expenditures could “run counter” to the trend of financial wellness programs. This tension sometimes presents employers with hard choices.   Read More
HSAs & Retirement
HSA vs. FSA: Things You Need to Know About Using Them in Retirement
Your Health Savings Account and your Flexible Spending Account can be amazing tools when retirement comes around. The fact is that these plans are meant to help us with our day-to-day medical expenses, but they can become even more valuable in retirement. Do you know how your HSA or FSA works?   Read More
3 Reasons Not to Put Money Into Your 401(k)
If you have a 401(k) at work and your employer matches contributions, you should contribute enough to earn those matching funds — don’t pass up on free money. But after that, you can turn your focus to an HSA, which offers better tax breaks. Since healthcare is likely to be one of your largest expenses as a senior, saving in an HSA allows you to cover bills with money that you got a tax break for on both ends.   Read More
Why HSA Owners Don’t Have to Worry About RMDs Harming Their Finances
IRAs, 401(k)s and similar retirement plans require that the owner take Required Minimum Distributions, regardless of financial need, starting at age 72. Health Savings Accounts aren’t subject to RMDs–HSA owners are never required to withdraw funds that they don’t need. They are in full control of their accounts without anyone else dictating distribution terms with them.   Read More
Maximizing Your HSA
HSA Accounts Help Combat Inflation Due to Tax Benefits
A Health Savings Account allows you to fund an account with a certain amount of money per year to use for a wide range of healthcare-related expenses. With July consumer price index data showing inflation cooling, but still high, it may be worth considering an HSA as an inflation hedge. An HSA could help you combat inflation thanks to its range of tax benefits. Here’s how it could work in your favor.   Read More
HSAs Can Help Those with Disabilities Save on Expenses
If you, your employees, or members of the family have disabilities, there’s assistance in the form of tax advantages you can receive if you have an HSA. It is important to evaluate the potential financial advantages that an HSA and its underlying high deductible health plan might offer. Even for those with significant medical expenses, these plans may offer powerful short-term and long-term savings.   Read More
Budget Package Includes Insulin Help for HSA Users
The Inflation Reduction Act budget package could help clients with diabetes who want to use HSAs. The bill would let an HSA-compatible health insurance policy cover insulin before the patient has met the policy deductible, meaning the provision could turn an HSA into a more practical vehicle for saving money for future health care expenses, including post-retirement health care and long-term care expenses.   Read More
Consumer-Driven Health Care
The Health Care Savings Face-Off: HSA vs. FSA
Both HSAs and FSAs provide tax savings on health care costs. Depending on your personal and family needs, one might be better than the other in any given year. With a little understanding of how each account works and the strategies behind them, you too can maximize your tax savings and better prepare for the future. Here’s how each account works, their pros and cons, and situations to be aware of when considering a switch.   Read More
Traditional Healthcare Is Missing Younger Consumers. How Can Providers Win Them Back?
It’s little secret that younger generations—millennials and Gen Z—aren’t seeking or receiving healthcare the same way as their predecessors. First, the younger demographic is less likely to have a dedicated primary care physician than previous generations of patients. But the next wave of healthcare consumers’ unique demands for convenient, accessible and transparent care services are also leading them away from “traditional” healthcare providers.   Read More
Senate’s Medicare Drug Pricing May Ripple into Private Market
Congress is on the verge of passing historic drug pricing legislation that would allow the government to restrict prices for drugs covered by Medicare, but experts disagree on whether drugmakers will shift those costs to the private market. Health insurers and employers are among those worried that lower prices in Medicare will lead drug companies to turn to the private market to offset losses.   Read More