Weekly HSA News – February 21, 2022

News from Washington
Senate Sends Biden Bill Averting Federal Shutdown
On February 17, the Senate gave final approval to legislation averting a weekend government shutdown, sending President Joe Biden a measure designed to give bipartisan bargainers more time to reach an overdue deal financing federal agencies until fall. The House easily approved the legislation a week prior.   Read More
Democrats Hit 30-Year High for House Retirements
The number of House Democrats not seeking reelection this year has hit a 30-year high — a bleak benchmark reflecting frustrations with the gridlock on Capitol Hill, the toxicity of relations between the parties, and the challenges facing Democrats as they fight to keep their slim majority in the House. 30 Democrats have announced their retirement so far. That’s the most for the party since 1992.   Read More
HSA Compliance Corner
LDI Tells Louisiana Insurers and HMOs to Warn Insureds About Potential Tax Consequences From Pharmacy Discount Cards and Coupons
The Louisiana Department of Insurance advised health insurers and health maintenance organizations to notify insureds enrolled in high-deductible health plans with a health savings account that they may face unintended tax consequences from the use of certain third-party payments, such as pharmacy discount cards as a result of a recently enacted Louisiana insurance statute.   Read More
Partners Can’t Participate in a Firm’s HSA Program? Not Exactly True!
Partnerships, LLCs, and Subchapter S corporations can make employer contributions into their employees’ HSAs. But the owners of the same company can’t receive a tax-free contribution from the company. Instead, any money that the business contributes to their accounts is taxable income to them. These owners can still take advantage of HSAs–they just must do so differently than their employees.   Read More
HSA Industry News
Webster Bank to Acquire HSA Provider Bend Financial
The parent company of Webster Bank announced an agreement to acquire Bend Financial, a cloud technology-based services provider for HSAs. Over time, Bend’s “personalized and connected user experience” will expand to Webster’s HSA Bank division. The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.   Read More
HSA Industry Best Practices
What Is a Post-Deductible HRA and When Should Employers Consider Adopting One?
The rule of thumb is that an HRA disqualifies an employee from opening or funding an HSA. That’s generally true – but not always. It’s important to understand when an employer can integrate an HRA into their benefits mix to reduce medical premiums, help employees pay their out-of-pocket expenses, and still allow workers to fund an HSA.   Read More
9 Employer Best Practices for High Deductible Health Plan Design
As employers explore ways to promote effective benefits utilization among members enrolled in HDHPs, there are opportunities to implement additional good practices to create health benefits that deliver even greater value to the employer and the employee, according to a new report. Employees may not realize that their health plans can meet needs beyond healthcare utilization, particularly in HSAs.   Read More
The HSA Market
Drug Copay Coupons Are Exacerbating Drug Price Inflation, Economists Say
Drug copay coupons offer patients savings on prescriptions, but they significantly increase amounts paid by insurers and employers, according to a new study. Researchers found drug copay coupons increased quantities sold by 21-23 percent in the year after they were introduced. Researchers estimated coupons raise negotiated prices by 8 percent and result in about $1 billion in increased spending annually — just for multiple sclerosis drugs.   Read More
HSAs & Retirement
Can I Contribute to an HSA After I Retire?
You can contribute to an HSA after you retire, so long as you are not enrolled in Medicare. If you are enrolled in Medicare you cannot contribute to an HSA, but there are other ways of saving for expected and unexpected healthcare costs. Someone who wants to keep making contributions after retirement can do so by either not enrolling in Medicare or by withdrawing from the program.   Read More
Maximizing Your HSA
Are HSAs a Good Deal for Patients with Chronic Medical Conditions?
One of the frequent criticisms of HSA programs is that they’re not appropriate for people with chronic conditions. Is that charge accurate? Believe it or not, the health plan with the higher deductible and lower premium may be a better option financially, even for someone with a chronic condition who requires regular medical care and prescription drugs to manage that illness. Here’s why.   Read More
Consumer-Driven Health Care
Always Ask About the Self-Pay Price of Medical Visits
Sometimes even insured people are better off paying out of pocket. This might seem counterintuitive for policyholders, but often enough, the so-called self-pay price for services, or the price a patient without insurance is asked to pay, can be lower than the price negotiated by insurance companies—and sometimes even lower than a copay, too.   Read More