Weekly HSA News – January 24, 2022

News from Washington
Biden Seeks to Save What He Can from Build Back Better
President Biden this week offered a new path forward for his signature policy proposal based on a harsh truth: Not all of it will survive. The president’s concession that some of the social spending and climate change package will need to be jettisoned marks a clear turning point for Democrats, some of whom have been insisting that something is better than nothing in a midterm year.   Read More
Manchin: Biden Spending Plan Talks Would Start ‘From Scratch’
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said that talks over President Biden’s sweeping climate and social spending package would be “starting from scratch,” throwing cold water on hopes of a quick revival. Pressed if his previous $1.8 trillion offer to the White House was still on the table, Manchin indicated it wasn’t, saying Democrats will “just be starting from scratch.”   Read More
U.S. Households Can Order 4 Free COVID-19 Tests Starting January 19
U.S. households can order four free at-home COVID-19 tests from the website COVIDTests.gov starting on January 19 with shipping expected within seven to 12 days of ordering, the White House said. The batch of free tests are aimed at easing a shortage of COVID-19 tests across the country amid increased demand during the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.   Read More
White House to Make 400 Million N95 Masks Available for Free
The White House announced that it is making 400 million N95 masks available for free, part of a string of actions aimed at fighting the surging omicron variant. The masks will be available for pickup at “tens of thousands of local pharmacies” as well as thousands of community health centers. Masks will begin shipping later this week and will start to become available late next week.   Read More
The HSA Market
2022 Poised to Be Another Benchmark Year for HSAs
HSAs and their place in the market have continued to evolve at a rapid clip as more and more individuals and businesses are harnessing the win-win benefits HSAs offer. The HSA of 2022 has come a long way in their nearly 20 years existence. From all market indications and otherwise, the future of HSAs is bright.   Read More
HDHPs Promote Cost-Conscious Behavior, Survey Shows
As healthcare costs continue to rise for employers and plan participants, healthcare consumerism and benefits literacy education remain an important tool in managing these costs. HDHPs intend to encourage enrollee engagement in their healthcare choices and a recent study shows that HDHPs promoted cost-conscious behavior, and participants in an HDHP were more likely to compare prices for medical care.   Read More
This Insurance Company Got Rid of Deductibles and Copays
Healthcare benefits company, Gravie, offers a “Comfort Plan,” a copay and deductible-free option for a premium that Gravie claims is comparable to traditional health plans. Members have access to services like preventative care, specialists visits, urgent care, labs and imaging, and more at no cost to the consumer. Less common but expensive services like surgery or hospitalization will cost members more than it would on a traditional health plan.   Read More
HSAs & Retirement
The Role That HSAs Can Play Meeting Retirees’​ $361,000 Spending Projection
A recent estimate projects that a retiring couple with high medical expenses will pay more than $360,000 in retirement medical costs. That’s a challenge for most Americans. How can they get the greatest bang for their buck? Medical expenses are the one retirement budget line that you can fund with money that is never taxed. But only if you deposit those funds in a Health Savings Account.   Read More
Retirement Uses for Your Health Savings Account
You might know that an HSA helps pay for out-of-pocket medical costs, but it may surprise you to learn that this tax-advantaged account could be a superior retirement savings vehicle, too. Here is a look at what these accounts are, who can open one, and how to make the best use of an HSA for your retirement if you are fortunate enough to have one.   Read More
3 Big HSA Mistakes to Avoid in 2022
Contributing money to an HSA is one of the smartest moves you can make for your retirement. Even though an HSA isn’t a retirement plan in the same sense as an IRA or 401(k), it can be an extremely useful long-term savings tool. But it’s important to manage that account wisely. Whether you’re participating in an HSA for the first time in 2022 or not, here are three big mistakes to avoid.   Read More
Maximizing Your HSA
The Best Savings Vehicle You Will Ever Find
The HSA is different from a health FSA. It operates like an IRA, but unlike an IRA, you can pull funds from your HSA at any time to pay for medical expenses. Thus, you have all the tax advantages of an IRA, but there are no early withdrawal penalties and no income taxes due on the money you withdraw to cover eligible health expenses. In that regard, it’s better than any retirement account that I have.   Read More
How to Pay for Home COVID Tests With Your FSA or HSA
Before the government stepped into the at-home COVID-19 test debacle, at-home COVID-19 tests were considered a medical expense if you have a health FSA or HSA. This means you can use either account to buy COVID-19 tests. Read on for more information about using FSAs and HSAs to pay for COVID tests.   Read More
Taxes 2022: Are Face Masks and Hand Sanitizer Deductible?
If you bought personal protective equipment—such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes—for the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in 2021, you may be eligible for a tax break. Amounts paid for PPE are eligible to be paid or reimbursed under HSAs, HRAs, health FSAs, or Archer MSAs.   Read More
Consumer-Driven Health Care
No Employer, No Tax-Advantaged Account? No – That’s Not True!
HSAs give people with non-traditional work arrangements access to the same tax benefits enjoyed for decades by traditional employees whose companies offer Health FSAs. The goal of consumer advocates and policy makers should be to expand – not limit – opportunities for non-traditional workers to enjoy the same tax benefits as their brethren in traditional employer-employee relationships.   Read More
5 Tips for Cutting Health Costs
Total U.S. health care spending reached $4.1 trillion or $12,530 per person in 2020, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The good news is that there are affordable ways to prioritize your health. Here are a few ideas to help you and your family stay healthier in 2022 and beyond.   Read More
Mark Cuban’s Online Pharmacy Is Now Open With Low-Cost Prescription Drugs
Mark Cuban’s online pharmacy promising affordable prices on prescription medications is up and running. The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company negotiates directly with drug manufacturers and pharmacies for rebates and discounts on behalf of employers, health insurers and government health programs. It says it’s offering the lowest direct-to-consumer prices on more than 100 medications.   Read More