Weekly HSA News – February 14, 2022

News from Washington
House Passes Stopgap Bill to Prevent Shutdown
The House passed a stopgap measure to extend federal government funding until March 11 to prevent a shutdown when current government funding expires February 18. The Senate is expected to act swiftly on the legislation. The legislation buys congressional negotiators on both sides of the aisle time to strike a larger spending deal to fund government operations through the end of September.   Read More
House Punts Telehealth Reform in Short-Term Spending Bill
House appropriators bypassed addressing major health priorities on telehealth and sequester relief in a short-term spending bill introduced Monday that funds the federal government through March 11. Some groups have wanted key flexibilities for telehealth use to be made permanent for another year or two to give the federal government more time to study the use of telehealth.   Read More
HSA Studies & Analysis
Lively Releases 2021 Data Showing COVID-19 Continues to Impact Routine Healthcare Spending
Lively, Inc. released its fourth annual HSA Spend Report, giving a view into how and where consumers spend on healthcare costs each year. Overall, in 2021 there was very little percentage change in HSA spending across the majority of categories from last year. Most notably, there was no increase in spending on mental healthcare, despite the United States’ growing mental health crisis.   Read More
HSA Enrollment Trends Expected to Reverse
Participant enrollment in health savings accounts is decreasing, according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute analysis that examined several surveys. EBRI explains that enrollment may be falling for several reasons. Employers have added lower deductible options into plan offerings, and the tight labor market could also be playing a role.   Read More
HSA Compliance Corner
HSAs and FSAs: Rolling into 2022
With the transition from 2021 to 2022, some changes are now in effect for HSAs and FSAs. For 2022, the IRS has increased the contribution limits for HSAs and FSAs. However, some rules for 2021 will stay the same in 2022. For example, the HSA catch-up contribution will remain at $1,000 for 2022. Also remaining in place for 2022 are the exceptions to the simple “use-it-or-lose-it” FSA plan.   Read More
Spent Your Health FSA Balance Early? Sorry, It’s Still Disqualifying Coverage!
It’s unfortunate that there’s an inherent compliance conflict for families that are enrolled in a general Health FSA and want to open and fund an HSA. Current federal tax law doesn’t offer the flexibility to disenroll easily from a Health FSA for any reason. Yet Health FSA participants are the people most likely to want to open and fund an HSA.   Read More
HSA Best Practices
Helping Employees Save Smarter Through HSAs
In times of rising inflation and healthcare costs, employers should consider offering employees options to maximize their savings. But, it’s just as important to educate employees and make sure that they understand how a 401(k)/HSA match can be a key tool in both their short-term and long-term financial security.   Read More
Why HSAs Should Be Included in Your Benefits Package
In addition to helping employees save for the future, HSAs are a must-have benefit that can help employers not only with reducing health costs, but also with recruitment and retention. From a recruiting standpoint, it is important for employers to have an HSA in place as part of their benefits package, partially due to the portability aspect. For financial advisors, HSAs are a true crossover where teams can work together to help clients maximize their total rewards package.   Read More
The HSA Market
Move Over, 401(k)s: HSAs Are the New Retirement Trend
A new account has been stealing the retirement spotlight recently: the Health Savings Account. Here’s why. HSA contributions reduce your taxable income for the year, like contributions to most 401(k)s. Even if the contribution limits are much lower than 401(k) limits, stashing funds here is still saving you money on your taxes today. And it could go a long way toward helping you cover your retirement costs.   Read More
HSAs & Retirement
The Average Retiree Spends 30% of Their Social Security Income on Health Care
While your retirement income from Social Security will undoubtedly be helpful in supporting you in your later years, it’s nowhere near enough to provide for everything you need. In fact, a troubling new report shows it’s possible almost a third of your entire benefits check will be eaten up by one key expense you face as a senior — health care.   Read More
Retiree Medical Costs Will Dent Social Security Benefits unless You Plan Now
Those who fail to plan for retirement will see more and more of their Social Security income go to pay for medical coverage and care. It’s not just how much you save. It’s about how you save. On this point, Health Savings Accounts win. Hands down. In every comparable scenario. Regardless of assumptions about marginal income tax rates during working years or in retirement.   Read More
Maximizing Your HSA
Health Care Cost Basics: What They Are and Ways to Save
Putting aside money for emergencies is one of the age-old mantras of personal finance. But today there’s one major potential expense that, until relatively recently, few working people rarely thought about: Paying for out-of-pocket medical costs. If there’s one silver lining in this scenario, it’s that many employers also offer Health Savings Accounts.   Read More
Consumer-Driven Health Care
Lower-Cost Formulations of Prescription Drugs Could Cut Costs by 40%, Study Finds
People in the United States can save up to 40% on prescription drug costs by switching to different formulations of the same medication, when available, a recent study found. In the analysis of costs for 28 medications available as a tablet or capsule, 33% of prescription orders were placed for the high-priced formulation, the data showed.   Read More
Amazon Rolls Out Its Telehealth Service Nationwide
Amazon is rolling out its telehealth service, known as Amazon Care, nationwide. Amazon Care launched in 2019 as a pilot program for employees in and around the company’s Seattle headquarters. The program provides virtual-care visits, as well as free telehealth consultations and in-home visits for a fee from nurses for testing and vaccinations. It has since expanded into more of a primary care service.   Read More