Weekly HSA News – June 13, 2022

News from Washington
Inflation Rises 8.6%, the Fastest Pace in Over 40 Years
A key gauge of inflation accelerated by 8.6% from a year earlier in May, the government said June 10, a big leap from the previous month as costs for food and gasoline continued to surge. Higher prices showed few signs of relief last month, as America braces for a long stretch of elevated costs.   Read More
IRS Increases Mileage Rate for Remainder of 2022
The Internal Revenue Service announced an increase in the standard mileage rates for the final 6 months of 2022, effective July 1, 2022. The new rate for deductible medical expenses (including HSA-eligible expenses) will be 22 cents for the remainder of 2022, up 4 cents from the rate effective at the start of 2022. Midyear increases in the rates are rare, the last time the IRS made such an increase was in 2011.   Read More
Warnock Presses Schumer to Hold Vote on Bill to Lower Insulin Costs
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) is pressuring Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) to hold a vote on legislation to lower the cost of insulin. Warnock faces a tough re-election race this year and has made lowering the cost of insulin a central part of his message. The timeline on the legislation has slipped, though.   Read More
CMS Issues First Price Transparency Fines to 2 Georgia Hospitals
The Biden administration has fined two Georgia hospitals a combined $1.1 million for non-compliance with federal price transparency rules that took effect last January. Data has shown that an overwhelming majority of hospitals aren’t complying with the CMS rules, which require hospitals to post prices online in a machine-readable and consumer-friendly format.   Read More
FTC Plans Inquiry Into Pharmacy Benefit Manager Practices
The Federal Trade Commission is starting an inquiry into the operations of pharmacy benefit managers. Pharmacy benefit managers run prescription drug coverage for big clients that include health insurers and employers that provide coverage. These businesses have been criticized by doctors and patients over their formularies and other concerns about drug access.   Read More
HSA Studies & Analysis
Study: HDHPs with HSAs Have Failed to Fulfill Their Original Goals
One reason for enabling consumers to open health savings accounts in conjunction with qualifying high-deductible health plans was to reduce wasteful spending by making them more conscious of cost. These expected savings no longer exist, according to a study reported in Health Affairs. The study showed several ways in which the initiative fell short of these objectives   Read More
HSA Industry Best Practices
Time for Employers to Match Popular Retirement Contribution Approach
Many companies offer matching contributions to encourage employees to stretch to contribute more to their retirement plans. That same logic can help employees fund their Health Savings Account to build an emergency medical fund and save for retiree medical expenses. Yet few employers adopt this approach. Most should.   Read More
The HSA Market
Health FSAs: 5 Things Employers May Not Know
A lot has changed in health care during the last four decades. One constant has been the Health Flexible Spending Account. It’s undergone some changes, but it remains an ally to families as they manage the ever-increasing cost of medical, dental and vision care. Here are five things employers may not know about Health FSAs.   Read More
States Seek Transparency on Health Care Sharing Ministries
Colorado lawmakers passed a bill last month which would require Health Care Sharing Ministries to file annual reports with the state detailing financial information about their plans. The bill would require transparency regarding, among other things, how much HCSMs take in through premiums and how much they pay out for claims. The legislation awaits signing by the Governor.   Read More
HSAs & Retirement
35% of Americans Worry About Covering Medical Costs in Retirement. Do This if You’re One of Them
If there’s one expense that’s more likely than not to increase during retirement, it’s healthcare. Not only do medical issues tend to arise with age, but Medicare often falls short in providing enrollees with the comprehensive coverage they need. A good 35% of Americans worry about their ability to pay for medical care during retirement, and if you have similar concerns, there’s one important step to consider taking.   Read More
Maximizing Your HSA
Reimbursement Deadline Looming? No Such Thing if You Own an HSA!
If your Health FSA plan year ends June 30 and you have a large unspent balance, you may be concerned that you may forfeit some of your election. But HSA owners face no deadlines to reimburse tax-free their qualified expenses during their lifetime. Once they establish their account, they can reimburse any subsequent qualified expenses on a schedule that fits them.   Read More
Consumer-Driven Health Care
20% of U.S. Adults Had Major Medical Expenses Last Year. Here Are 3 Ways to Save for Healthcare
Medical issues can pop up unexpectedly. And when they do, they can be costly. This holds true even if you have health insurance. Last year, a good 20% of Americans faced major medical expenses, according to new data. If you’re worried about paying for healthcare bills, here are three ways to prepare and avoid a crunch.   Read More
The Hidden Prices of Your Health Care
In almost every industry, upfront pricing is standard practice—a key ingredient of free market efficiency that unleashes competition, driving down prices and bolstering quality. Yet health care is the exception to the rule, where hidden prices and lack of information on the quality of care prevent patients from making well-informed decisions about their health care, driving up costs for everyone.   Read More