Weekly HSA News – October 30, 2023

News from Washington
New Prohibited Transaction Exemption Procedures Could Be Coming Soon
Final regulations updating the existing procedures governing the filing and processing of applications for administrative exemptions from the prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code and the Federal Employees’ Retirement System were submitted to the White House Office of Management & Budget for final review on October 24. The regulations were last updated in 2011.   Read More
HSA Studies & Analysis
HSA Assets Continue to Show Solid Growth as the Space Matures
Morningstar’s 7th annual landscape study on HSAs shows continued industry improvement, even though persistent issues with transparency and fees remain. Overall, the study found that HSA features have improved in the past year with several plans cutting fees and offering higher quality investment menus. However, the industry is still developing and falls short on several issues, including transparency, ease of use and costs.   Read More
Morningstar: The Best HSA Providers of 2023
HSA providers offer differing account features and characteristics, which can make it a daunting task to sort through all your options. That’s why Morningstar evaluates the top HSA providers for those looking to shop around. Even if you already have access to an HSA provider through your employer, our assessments can help you get the most out of your HSA.   Read More
75% of Employees Would Be Better Off with a High-Deductible Plan and HSA: Study
According to an analysis by Voy Financial, 75% of individuals would have spent less in a high-deductible health plan. When you combine what you save on premiums with any contribution that employers make to employees’ HSAs, most come out ahead in a high-deductible health plan plus HSA. That’s even the case for many older adults, who tend to incur higher medical costs than their younger counterparts.   Read More
Key House Committee Leader’s HSA Criticisms Miss the Mark
Last month, Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, criticized the Committee’s mark-up of two bills that would expand and enhance Health Savings Accounts. Most of his criticisms of HSAs are either largely irrelevant or don’t match industry data. Let’s examine his remarks.   Read More
HSA Compliance Corner
What’s the HSA Effect on Minors and Parents After a Divorce?
Divorce is difficult, both for the couple ending a marriage, and their children. Fortunately, Health Savings Account rules recognize the reality of post-divorce life and offer clear guidance into how account owners who’ve divorced can use their HSAs in this new era of their lives. And the rules allow maximum financial flexibility.   Read More
HSA Industry News
Fintech Firm Wex Agrees to Acquire Payzer in $250M Deal
Financial services technology firm Wex Inc. has agreed to acquire contractor software company Payzer LLC for about $250 million, with additional consideration of as much as $11 million based on performance metrics, according to a statement. The deal is expected to be completed before the end of this year.   Read More
HSA Best Practices
Tackling HSAs During Open Enrollment
With open enrollment season starting soon for many plan sponsors, participants may have questions about HSAs and high-deductible health plans. Although many look to their employer or benefits provider when making enrollment decisions, all players in the health benefits ecosystem need to be aligned in delivering education and resources during annual enrollment and beyond.    Read More
3 Reasons Why Picking the Wrong Health Plan Can Cost You Big in the Long Run
During open enrollment, you’ll generally get the option to elect a low-deductible plan versus one with a higher deductible. And you may be inclined to choose the low-deductible option because the idea of a higher deductible can be scary. But if you choose the wrong plan, it might cost you more than expected. Here’s why.   Read More
Market Trends
Inflation Is Forcing Americans to Downgrade Their Healthcare: Survey
Millions of Americans are downgrading their insurance policies heading into 2024, as rampant inflation has led to a deprioritization of their health, according to a recent survey. Around 60% of adults surveyed said that they have chosen or would choose a health insurance plan with a lower premium but a higher deductible. Younger Americans were more likely to downgrade, with 19% of Gen Z, 11% of millennials, and 14% of Gen Xers considering making the change.     Read More
Chronic Conditions: Top Reason for Rising Health Care Costs in U.S.
A new report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans says chronic conditions, catastrophic claims, pharmaceutical prices, and inflation will continue to push upward the cost of providing health coverage to employees in 2024 by an estimated 7%. Utilization control initiatives top the list of employers’ strategies to take control of costs.   Read More
HSAs & Retirement
Supporting Employees’ Retirement Journey: The Power of the HSA
One of the key conversations employers should have during open enrollment is how they can help employees secure their financial futures from the package of benefits they offer. A point of emphasis should be the unique savings and tax advantages of HSAs and how they fit into a carefully planned, multi-pronged retirement strategy.   Read More
More Workers ‘Terrified’ They Cannot Afford Health Care in Retirement
According to a recent survey, two-thirds of all U.S. adults are “terrified” of the effect health care costs will have on their retirement plans and worry that a single large health care issue could ruin their finances for years to come. Even more (72%) said one of their top fears is out-of-control health care costs, and 61% said they are worried about living so long that they run out of money.   Read More
Maximizing Your HSA
What to Look for When Shopping for a Health Savings Account
If you’re simply looking for an HSA account to save toward ongoing medical costs, the two most important factors are low fees and a competitive interest rate on your savings. Most of the 10 providers that we surveyed no longer charge a fee. Others typically waive the fee when you reach a certain savings balance. Unfortunately, most HSA providers pay low rates on savings.   Read More
Here Are 4 Ways Health Savings Accounts Can Be Used to Pay Insurance Premiums
HSA funds must be used for qualified medical expenses and premiums generally don’t qualify. However, there are four exceptions to this rule, according to the IRS. They include premiums for COBRA continuation coverage, premiums while receiving unemployment benefits, Medicare premiums, and long-term care insurance premiums (up to certain amounts).   Read More
Consumer-Driven Health Care
Breast Cancer Screening: What You Need to Know, at Any Age
Recommendations on breast cancer screening vary depending on your age and other risk factors — and have changed over the past year for women under 50. Federal guidance is targeted at women who are at an average risk of breast cancer. Women who are high risk — due to certain genetic mutations, a history of radiation therapy, or previous biopsies or lesions — should consult their doctors for individualized screening plans.   Read More