Weekly HSA News – May 31, 2022

News from Washington
Democrats Set to Blow Through Key Date for Moving Biden’s Agenda
Democrats are set to blow through the soft Memorial Day deadline for reaching a deal with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on a slimmed-down budget reconciliation bill to raise taxes, fight climate change and lower the cost of prescription drugs. Instead, Democrats are once again pushing back the target date for getting a deal with Manchin. They now point to the start of the August recess as the new deadline.   Read More
No Surprises Act Blocked 2 Million Medical Bills in 2 Months: Report
The No Surprises Act stopped about 2 million unexpected medical bills from hitting private insurance patients during the first two months of 2022, according to a new report. More than 12 million potential surprise bills could be avoided this year if the trend continues, the study from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and America’s Health Insurance Plans found.   Read More
No Shortage of Legislative Ideas to Expand Health Savings Accounts
A handful of bills introduced during this session of Congress seek to expand access to Health Savings Accounts for seniors, children, enrollees in medical coverage with high out-of-pocket costs, and Health FSA enrollees who want to transition to HSAs. The bills are unlikely to pass as independent legislation. But there’s hope.   Read More
HSA Studies & Analysis
Expanding Pre-Deductible Coverage for Chronic Conditions Doesn’t Hike Premiums, Study Finds
A May 2022 Issue Brief by the Employee Benefit Research Institute analyzed claims data and found that the effect of expanding pre-deductible coverage for 14 specific treatments for diabetes, heart disease, asthma, depression and osteoporosis on health plans premiums was small. Estimated premium increases range from virtually zero to 1.5 percent.   Read More
Income Impacts How Employees Use HDHPs
A new study suggests that low-salary employees on high-deductible health plans tend to have lower utilization of primary care services than higher-salary employees, while also having a higher utilization of acute care services. Study authors speculate that the higher utilization of ED care might indicate that low-salary patients’ health conditions are not as well managed as their higher-salary counterparts’.   Read More
HSAs Compliance Corner
Death and Taxes Are Inevitable, but How Do They Affect Your Account?
How should a HSA owner plan for the inevitable day they die? Fortunately, federal tax law provides clear parameters in which we can operate. Naming a beneficiary is the first and most important thing to do. It is very easy to do, but it’s also very easy not to do. Here’s what else you need to know.   Read More
HSAs & Retirement
Save for Health Care Costs in Retirement? Won’t Medicare Take Care of That?
Although six in 10 American workers are “significantly concerned” about their ability to cover future health care expenses, only 26 percent have calculated the monthly income they will require to address their needs in retirement. Here are seven specific reasons why health care needs to be incorporated into retirement planning.   Read More
Rising Health Care Costs and the Impact on Soon-to-Be Retirees
For individuals who may be nearing retirement, there are planning considerations to be mindful of as inflation continues to rise – most notable is health care. While inflation may result in higher prescription and medical supply prices in the short term, health care costs typically outpace inflation over the long term, regardless of market conditions. This means soon-to-be retirees need to be forward-thinking and include health care costs in their broader financial plan.   Read More
Maximizing Your HSA
Everything You Need to Know About HSAs
Health Savings Accounts are rarely mentioned and widely underused. The lack of attention it gets leads many to leaving tons of money on the table, especially when measured over a lifetime. Taking care of your health costs with tax deferred compound growth is the ultimate investment in yourself. If you know anything about compound growth, time is of the essence.   Read More
Here’s the Best Way to Use a Health Savings Account, Which Offers a Triple-Tax Advantage
The ideal way for savers to use HSAs is by contributing the annual maximum, investing the money and paying for present-day health costs out of pocket via other savings, according to financial advisors. This allows time for HSA money to grow tax-free. But most people don’t invest their HSA savings, using their HSAs like a bank account and withdraw cash as needed to pay for current medical costs instead.   Read More
HSAs Make Health Care More Affordable
HSAs help prepare for future health and wealth needs. This is particularly true for retirees. Although you can’t contribute to an HSA once you sign up for Medicare, you can still use the funds tax-free for medical expenses. Ideally, you should use the money for health care costs, which can be significant in retirement. And the list of eligible expenses is long.   Read More
Do You Realize the Power of HSAs? Probably Not!
It’s easy to understand why HSAs have increased in demand throughout the pandemic, since they are a great solution to help cover unexpected medical costs — like an unplanned hospital stay. But HSAs are more powerful than most people realize. Whether you are a pro when it comes to HSAs or just using one for the first time, we all can find value to reviewing ways that we can realize the full potential of these powerful savings, spending and investing vehicles.   Read More
These 2 HSA Misconceptions Could Cost You a Lot of Money
If you’re enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan, it definitely pays to look at opening and funding a Health Savings Account. But new data from Fidelity reveals that there’s still a glaring lack of knowledge when it comes to HSAs. And that could cause a lot of savers to lose out on some of the benefits these accounts allow for. Here are two HSA-specific misconceptions it really pays to clear up.   Read More
Consumer-Driven Health Care
More Americans Are Avoiding Healthcare Due to Cost Uncertainty
Almost half of respondents to a new survey, including 51% of those with a high-deductible health plan, say they have avoided getting healthcare services because they were unsure of the costs. The findings show a steep increase from just one year ago, when 25% of patients reported skipping care. Two-thirds of respondents reported being unaware of new government regulations requiring that health insurance plans must offer price transparency to their members.   Read More
Here’s Why People Are Paying More to Get Pregnancy Care Than Ever Before
A new study from the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission looked at why individuals have begun paying more and more for pregnancy care over the last few years. What the HPC found is that the problem lies not with increases in the cost of care itself, but in ballooning out-of-pocket spending through deductibles.   Read More