Your Weekly HSA News – November 15, 2021

Read the latest news about Health Savings Accounts and consumer-driven health care.
News from Washington
Biden Spending Bill to Likely Slip in Senate After House Delays
The Senate’s debate over President Biden’s social and climate spending bill appears likely to slip after the House failed to send the bill over before the Veterans Day recess. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) had hoped to start debate on the Build Back Better legislation this week.
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2022 Health FSA Contribution Cap Rises to $2,850
The IRS announced that the annual contribution limit for health care flexible spending accounts (health FSAs) will rise to $2,850 for 2022. If permitted by the employer, the maximum carryover amount will rise to $570. But with open enrollment for the 2022 benefits year already under way at many organizations, the increases may have come too late for some employees to take advantage of it.
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HSA Compliance Corner
IRS Information Letter: Request to Cover Behavioral Health Care Prior to Exhausting Deductible in HDHP
On November 10, the IRS released an Information Letter in response to a request asking for guidance on high-deductible health plans to include coverage for primary and behavioral health care visits before the minimum annual deductible has been satisfied. The agency is treating the request as a submission for its Priority Guidance plan.
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The HSA Market
Average Family Premiums Rose 4% This Year to $22K Due to Healthcare Use Decline
The annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health plans increased by 4% in 2021 to an average of $22,221 as the COVID-19 pandemic blunted massive premium hikes, a new survey finds. The survey also found more employers added new mental and behavioral health benefits likely linked to the pandemic.
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Redefining Value in Health Benefits
The cost of health care is increasingly a burden for individuals and their families that often outweighs the value they are receiving in return. This reality should lead us to ask some critical questions, not only about what solutions we’re offering, but also about what experiences we’re creating for individuals.The following are three themes that continue to surface during our ongoing analysis of ways to change this.
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HSAs & Retirement
2 Big Reasons to Save for Retirement in an HSA
When you think of retirement savings accounts, chances are good the first ones that come to mind are 401(k)s and IRAs. But there’s another type of account you also need to consider. It’s called an HSA. HSAs allow you to invest if you have a qualifying high-deductible health plan. If you’re eligible for an HSA, there are two really big reasons why at least some of your retirement nest egg should be invested in it.
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Which Is Best for Retirement Planning?
Two of the most common vehicles for building savings are the 401(k) and the health savings account. While the HSA isn’t a traditional retirement account, at least not formally, it can provide you with significant value when your healthcare costs likely rise in retirement. That helps it to serve as a useful backup to more ordinary retirement planning tools, like 401(k)s and IRAs.
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MSA vs. HSA: What’s the Difference?
Medicare savings accounts and health savings accounts both give consumers tax-advantaged ways to fund the costs of healthcare. Both allow for tax-free growth of funds in the accounts, as well as tax-free withdrawals when withdrawals are used to pay for qualified medical expenses. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences between MSAs and HSAs.
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Maximizing Your HSA
With Triple Tax Advantage, It’s a No Brainer to Max Out Your HSA
Healthcare costs represent a major spending category for those in retirement. Therefore, it makes sense to plan for the costs in advance. Unlike other well-known retirement plans like 401(k) and IRA, an HSA can also qualify as a potent retirement tool. Many financial experts advise maxing out your HSA before making contributions to other retirement plans.
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HSAs Can Be Used for Both Medical Expenses and Saving for Retirement — Here’s How You Can Get Started
For many Americans, paying out of pocket or running medical expenses through their insurance may be their primary method of paying. However, there is another way to save on some of these costs–an HSA. HSAs have evolved from a place to save money for upcoming medical expenses to also being an account where you can grow your nest egg for retirement.
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Can You Fund a Vacation with Penalty- and Tax-Free Withdrawals? Maybe!
Yet it’s possible. Some account owners are building their balances to create a retirement medical account whose balances won’t be subject to Required Minimum Distributions and whose distributions won’t increase their tax bills, the percent of their Social Security benefit subject to income taxes, or their Medicare premiums.
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Consumer-Driven Health Care
Knowing About Medical Savings Accounts Is Key to Health Insurance Decisions
As health insurance premiums rise, many policies cover less by requiring ever-larger deductibles — the amount of money that must be paid out-of-pocket before the carrier steps in to help pay the bills. Two types of tax-friendly accounts for medical care can help a little, but health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts have important differences, risks and benefits.
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Cash Discounts Can Save High-Deductible Health Plan Patients Money, Study Finds
Patients with high-deductible health plans can save more money paying a discounted cash price than by billing their insurance for a colonoscopy, according to a new study. Under new federal price transparency rules, hospitals are required to disclose this pricing data.
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