Your Weekly HSA News – December 6, 2021

Read the latest news about Health Savings Accounts and consumer-driven health care.
News from Washington
Biden Lays Out Multi-Pronged Plan to Deal with Evolving Pandemic
President Biden laid out a multi-pronged plan to confront variants of the coronavirus that includes an expansion of at-home diagnostic tests. Part of Biden’s plan will allow Americans with private health insurance to seek reimbursement for at-home COVID-19 diagnostic tests. The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury will issue guidance by January 15 on the new rule.   Read More
Biden Signs Bill Averting Government Shutdown
President Biden signed a short-term funding bill on Friday, averting a government shutdown hours before the deadline. The bill funds government operations through February 18, meaning that lawmakers will need to work on another appropriations bill early in the new year.   Read More
No Deal in Sight as Congress Nears Debt Limit Deadline
Congress is only a couple of weeks away from hitting the Dec. 15 deadline to raise the federal debt limit and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) don’t appear to be anywhere close to a deal. At the same time, both leaders want to avoid another standoff that could threaten the nation’s credit rating.   Read More
Schumer Eyeing Build Back Better Vote as Soon as Week of Dec. 13
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) is planning to bring President Biden’s social and climate spending bill to the floor as soon as the week of December 13, once Democrats finish their conversations with the parliamentarian, who provides guidance on what can be included in a bill passed through budget reconciliation.   Read More
HSA Compliance Corner
Let’s Correct Some Common Mistakes Regarding Health Savings Accounts!
The popular press is full of articles about Health Savings Accounts. But not every writer understands these accounts well enough to portray all aspects of these accounts accurately. More often I find an error that, if not corrected, can lead a trusting reader to fall out of compliance with HSA regulations or fail to take full advantage of these opportunities. Here are some recent examples that I’ve seen.   Read More
Looking at Direct-Primary Care? Beware the Effect on Your HSA.
The growing direct-primary care movement offers many benefits to patients in general, and particularly those who are responsible for more of the cost of their care through higher deductibles and cost-sharing. Unfortunately, federal law makes this doctor-patient relationship model incompatible with funding a Health Savings Account.   Read More
HSA Industry News
UMB Healthcare Launches More Benefits Offerings
Looking to attract employers who want a one-stop shop for financial services related to employee benefits packages, UMB Healthcare Services will launch benefit spending accounts, including flexible spending accounts and an account to pay for bus and train passes or parking fees to complement its HSA offering.   Read More
Elevate, DriveWealth, and intellicents Partner to Deliver Embeddable API-Driven Tax-Advantaged Benefits
Elevate announced that it has partnered with DriveWealth and intellicents. DriveWealth’s API-based brokerage infrastructure coupled with intellicents’ investment advisory services help power Elevate’s HSA investment offering within its fully embeddable, API-driven pre-tax benefits experience.   Read More
The HSA Market
HSAs: Big Benefits, Little Work
What responsibilities do employers have for their health savings accounts? Plan sponsors have limited administrative duties when it comes to HSAs. These primarily concern the way employees’ contributions get from payroll to their HSAs, which are held by an HSA administrator. HSAs are owned by the individual, so employers aid only in their administration. The benefit is not explicitly tied to an employer.   Read More
HSAs & Retirement
Ensuring Your Benefits Don’t Become a Burden: Medicare Part A, Social Security & Health Savings Accounts
Many workers nearing retirement age may unknowingly violate IRS guidelines by contributing to their HSA once covered by Medicare, and still others may unknowingly fall into tax liabilities because of timing issues. Workers can easily avoid this trap, but only if they have the knowledge to watch out for it.   Read More
Maximizing Your HSA
How to Invest HSA Funds and Get Full Benefits From Tax-Free Account
It might be smart to invest your HSA dollars to gain potential tax benefits and have an additional avenue to save for long-term healthcare needs and financial goals. With the HSA’s tax advantagees, it’s designed to make out-of-pocket medical expenses more manageable. However, it could be a very good investment tool to help fund your retirement years.   Read More
1 Easy Move to Add $13,000 to Your HSA Balance in 10 Years
Many HSA account holders aren’t using the investment features of their account. That could prove to be a costly mistake. There is a strong argument for earmarking most of your funds for the future. You can use a compound interest calculator like to understand how much you can make from your investments.   Read More
Should You Close Your Health Savings Account If You Have Little or No Balance?
The quick answer is “no.” If you do, you may miss out an opportunity to pay future expenses tax-free. The final decision about whether or not to close your HSA is yours to make, but there could be very good reasons not to close your HSA when you have a low or zero balance in your account.   Read More
Consumer-Driven Health Care
Do You Really Need an HSA?
The average American spent more than $11,500 on health expenses in 2019. Of course, illnesses pop up unpredictably, which makes them hard to budget for. Not to mention, it can be hard to find out what medical treatment will cost before you need it. But there’s a tool that many Americans overlook: the HSA. An HSA lets you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses in the future.   Read More
Smart Ways to Use Up Your FSA Before the Year Ends
Although some employers will allow a grace period or a certain amount of funds (max $550) to roll over to the next year, you may want to get creative about spending down any available FSA balance soon. With just a few more weeks until year’s end, now is the time to get creative about spending it down.   Read More