Weekly HSA News – July 18, 2022

News from Washington
Democrats Push Reconciliation as Tool to Fight Inflation
Some Democrats are arguing that a revival of President Biden’s legislative agenda, parts of which aim to raise taxes on some high-income individuals and cut prescription drug costs, could help address the highest inflation in decades. But the figures drew swift a response from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who expressed caution as he and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) look to find common ground on components of the president’s economic agenda after talks unraveled last year.   Read More
Manchin Rejects Adding Climate Spending, Tax Hikes on Wealthy, Striking Blow to Biden Agenda
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) “unequivocally” that he will only support a narrow budget reconciliation package before Labor Day if it does not include new spending to fight climate change or taxes on wealthy individuals or corporations. In addition, Manchin will only support a provision to lower prescription drug prices and a two-year extension of expiring health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, according to sources familiar with the discussion.   Read More
Biden to Senate: Pass Health Bill and I’ll Tackle Climate Through Executive Action President Biden told senators to move forward with a slimmed-down, health care-only reconciliation package before their August recess after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) struck a blow to his agenda over its tax and climate provisions, which Biden said he will address through executive action.   Read More
HSA Studies & Analysis
ABA, Devenir Survey: 67 Million Americans Covered by an HSA
An estimated 67 million Americans were covered by HSAs, according to a survey by ABA’s HSA Council and Devenir. The total number of HSA accounts was estimated at 32.5 million. The survey also showed that younger consumers are embracing HSAs, with about one in five Americans in their 30s having an HSA. Meanwhile, older consumers continued to accumulate meaningful HSA savings.   Read More
Devenir & HSA Council Demographic Survey
The majority of this report was derived from the 2021 Devenir & HSA Council Demographic Survey. The survey data was primarily collected in April of 2022 and largely consisted of top 20 providers in the health savings account market, with all data being collected for the period ending on December 31, 2021. The report can be downloaded from the Devenir website.   Read More
HSA Compliance Corner
Can Your Voluntarily Disqualify Yourself From HSA Eligibility? Yes!
No one who’s enrolled in HSA-qualified coverage is required to open a Health Savings Account (if eligible), nor is anyone prohibited from enrolling in other coverage that is disqualifying. It may or may not be to your benefit, but you can enroll in an HSA-qualified medical plan and choose other coverage that disqualifies you.   Read More
HSA Industry News
Health-E Commerce Unveils “Easy Button” Tool to Help HSA Users Track Eligible Purchases
Health-E Commerce, parent brand to HSAstore.com, has released a new online tool that helps HSA users review and track spending of their tax-free healthcare dollars and electronically record receipts for tax and accounting accuracy. The “HSA Expense Dashboard” automates tracking of eligible HSA purchases for easy, accurate tax preparation and management of saving and spending activity.   Read More
HSA Industry Best Practices
9 Reasons HSAs Are a Smart Choice to Help Employees Optimize Benefits
Highly effective companies help employees view all their benefits holistically, so workers understand how decisions in one area might affect another area. For example, employees who focus only on contributing to a retirement account may neglect coverage – such as HSAs – that can help reduce the strain of current medical expenses. Here are nine reasons HSAs are a smart choice to help employees optimize their benefits.   Read More
The HSA Market
Cash-Pay Healthcare Startup Sesame Jumps into Employer Market
Sesame, a startup that enables patients to access cash-pay telehealth and in-person visits, is jumping into the employer market. The company rolled out Sesame for Employers, a new service that provides employee healthcare offerings for small and medium-sized businesses. Sesame says its new service is offered at a fraction of the cost of traditional managed care programs through insurance carriers.   Read More
HSAs & Retirement
This Account Is a Great Retirement Savings Tool — but Are You Using It That Way?
Once your senior years arrive, there’s a good chance your medical bills will increase, partly because health issues tend to arise with age, and partly because Medicare commonly leaves seniors with plenty of out-of-pocket costs. Having money set aside in an HSA is a great way to cover those costs at a time in your life when your income may be more limited. But that’s not the only perk of carrying HSA funds into retirement.   Read More
Medicare Part A Isn’t (Entirely) Free. Here’s How Much It Costs
While you may have heard that Medicare Part A is free, that’s only partly true. Though the premium is free, this portion of Medicare still charges deductibles and coinsurance — all of which are out-of-pocket costs that you’ll have to foot by yourself. For starters, every Medicare Part A enrollee is subject to a $1,556 deductible in 2022.   Read More
Maximizing Your HSA
Are These the Best Arguments That the Critics of HSAs Can Muster?
A recent article outlined the benefits and drawbacks of Health Savings Accounts. The criticisms are, to put it politely, weak. In fact, their weakness merely reinforces the financial benefit of opening and funding these tax-perfect accounts. Let’s review the criticisms and see if they hold any water.   Read More
Preventive Care Falls Short: Only 8% of U.S. Adults Receive All Appropriate Services
Health systems and physician practices can do a better job providing preventive services to patients to help maintain their health and save lives, according to a new study. Only 8% of U.S. adults received all of the high-priority, appropriate preventive care recommended, researchers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found.   Read More
Consumer-Driven Health Care
Consumers’ Health Care Approaches Moving ‘Back to Basics’
A new report finds some some stability returning to the health care industry, but also tracks significant changes in how consumers think about their health. The report finds that while health care engagement is up slightly after a drop in 2021, consumers say they are less likely to try being trend setters by using new approaches to health and wellness. According to the report’s authors, this represents a desire to “get back to the basics,” by consumers.   Read More
Consumers Seeking Personalized, Integrated Care Post-COVID, CVS Survey Finds
COVID-19 reignited consumers’ interest in health and well-being, and they are looking for more personalized care to align with that, according to a new survey from CVS Health. The survey found that 85% believe personalized care is important, and 83% said they want their primary care physician to know about their family medical history, genetics and inherited lifestyle habits. In addition, the survey found patients have a renewed interest in preventive care.   Read More
Top Pharmas Team with Express Scripts to Gin Up Savings for Cash-Paying Patients
As pharmacy benefit managers and drugmakers continue to clash over their respective roles in controversial drug-price hikes, eight top pharmas and leading PBM Express Scripts have teamed up to offer cheaper meds to patients forced to pay cash for their prescriptions. The program is designed to make drugs affordable for patients with high-deductible insurance plans or no insurance at all.   Read More
Novo Nordisk Rolls Out Authorized Insulin Generics, Following Similar Moves by Lilly, Sanofi
The Big Three insulin makers have now finally all come up with plans to lower their insulin prices amid mounting criticism over their high costs in the U.S. Novo Nordisk is the last one to join rivals and major insulin providers Eli Lilly and Sanofi in making a cost-cutting move. The Danish company will offer authorized generics of its NovoLog brands at a 50% discount from their originators, it said on July 15.   Read More
UnitedHealthcare to Eliminate Out-of-Pocket Costs on Several Prescription Drugs, Including Insulin, for Eligible Members
UnitedHealthcare will eliminate out-of-pocket costs in standard fully insured group plans for certain preferred prescription drugs, including insulin and several drugs used to treat emergencies such as severe allergic reactions, hypoglycemia, opioid overdoses, and acute asthma attacks. This new standard offering will be available to group fully insured plans potentially as early as January 1, 2023.    Read More