Your Weekly HSA News – November 1, 2021

Read the latest news about Health Savings Accounts and consumer-driven health care.
News from Washington
White House Drops Bid to Add Dental, Vision Benefits to Traditional Medicare in Pared Down Infrastructure Bill
The White House released an updated framework for its trillion-dollar infrastructure package that closes the Medicaid coverage gap and extends enhanced subsidies on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges. But it drops expanding dental and vision benefits after centrists called for paring down the overall cost of the package, which originally was proposed for $3.5 trillion.
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Democrats Seek Tweaks to $1.75T Framework
Democrats are working to see how bendable the White House’s framework for the social-spending package is. Lawmakers are hoping to make adjustments to the framework released October 28 in areas that include health care, climate and paid family leave. But it could be a challenge.
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Lawmakers Discussing Potential Compromise to Revive Drug Pricing Measure
Democratic lawmakers are discussing a possible compromise on lowering prescription drug prices that could revive the issue after it was left out of President Biden’s social spending framework. The Senate remains a question, particularly Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who has been one of the main obstacles in that chamber to stronger versions of the drug pricing plan.
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Democrats Could Pass Infrastructure, Spending Bills by Tuesday
House Democrats are looking to pass both the social spending and bipartisan infrastructure bills as early as Tuesday. Committees were notified by House leaders that they had to finish any changes on the spending bill by Sunday and that the House Rules Committee could meet as soon as Monday to mark it up.
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HSA Best Practices
Employers Should Stress the ‘Savings’ in HSA Education
Employees are still not connecting the link between HSAs and long-term savings, according to a survey from Alegeus. While most consumers are actively saving for retirement and many consider themselves savvy investors, a majority do not see HSAs as a means for achieving either. Only 32% say they understand that HSAs can help with long-term expenses, and only 17% invest HSA funds for growth.
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HSAs: What Do Your Employees Really Know?
How much do your employees know about their HSAs? A recent survey revealed that only 32% of respondents understand that HSAs can help with long-term expenses, and only 17% are investing HSA funds for growth. This shows a major gap in employees’ understanding of their benefits. It also presents an opportunity for Benefits pros to educate their employees to get the most of out of their benefits.
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Unlocking the Power of HSAs for Employers and Employees
Employers need to do more than merely offer their employees an HSA program in connection with the high-deductible health plan. A static offer that merely presents an HSA as another benefit option among the dozen or more that the company sponsors is unlikely to grab employees’ attention. Here are some approaches that employers can adopt to help employees choose the optimal benefits program.
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Bringing Consumer-Directed Benefits Into the Digital Era
The 100 million Americans signed up for tax-advantaged benefits deserve an easier way to access and use their HSAs and FSAs—and their employers need a more efficient way to administer them. By building a better user experience into the technology, platform providers can bring tax-advantaged benefits into the digital era.
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The HSA Market
Cigna Expands Telehealth Benefits for Employer-Covered Lives, Including New Virtual-First Plan
Cigna is integrating MDLive physicians into digital-first primary, dermatology, behavioral and urgent care. Starting in January, Cigna’s employer customers will have access to virtual primary care providers for routine care, sick visits, prescription refills or any needed follow-up care after a wellness visit. Cigna is also launching virtual-first health plans to select employers in 2022.
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HSAs & Retirement
Why Everyone Should Be Saving for Retirement in an HSA
You’ll often hear that it’s best not to rely solely on Social Security for retirement income. Rather, it’s important to save independently. There are different savings plans you can choose from. Here’s another long-term savings plan it pays to use for your retirement — an HSA. And HSAs actually offer more tax breaks than other retirement plans.
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Your HSA Is Not a Savings Account, It’s an Investment Account, and You Can Turn It Into a Serious Nest Egg
It’s hard enough to motivate yourself to save for retirement, but saving for your future medical costs? How responsible does a person have to be? Thankfully, HSAs are tools that make saving for future health-related expenses less painful. These accounts allow you to save money, but they also allow you to invest. With open enrollment coming up, an HSA might be something to consider.
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How to Plan for Medical Expenses in Retirement
Despite saving and preparing for retirement their entire working lives, many retirees aren’t mentally or financially prepared for the high cost of medical expenses in retirement. Whether you’re early on in your working career, close to retirement, or already making the transition out of the workforce, it’s important to understand and plan for growing medical costs.
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One of the Most Underutilized Savings Tools: The HSA
It is surprising to find how few individuals take advantage of an HSA. Not only can these plans offer a way for individuals and families to save for current medical expenses in a tax-efficient manner, because of their unique structure and features, HSAs are a perfect vehicle to save for retirement and other financial needs.
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Maximizing Your HSA
HSAs: An Underutilized Tool for Long-Term Financial Wellness
At a time when quality health and retirement benefits are more important than ever in marking employers of choice, sponsors should review how they are positioning an HSA offering, to ensure that employees correctly view the HSA as a highly appealing vehicle to cover healthcare costs — but also as a useful tool for building overall financial wellness, well into retirement.
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Here Are 5 Benefits of a Health Savings Account That You May Not Know
You may want to get to know about a health savings account a little better. HSAs are known for their triple tax advantage, yet there are some aspects of these accounts that are less well-known but could come in handy. Here are some of the hidden benefits.
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Consumer-Driven Health Care
Smart Year-End Move: Manage Your Employee Benefits
Whether you have a use-it-or-lose-it flexible spending account or a more forgiving health savings account, you can make the most of your health savings by taking certain steps at the end of the year.
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Open Enrollment: How To Choose The Best Health Insurance Plan
To begin evaluating the best health insurance option for you, consider not only the premium costs but how much you are likely to pay on the deductible and co-insurance as well. When evaluating your total costs for coverage, it is important to factor in potential tax savings from either FSA or HSA contributions and any money your employer is willing to contribute to your HSA.
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