Your Weekly HSA News – October 11, 2021

Read the latest news about Health Savings Accounts and consumer-driven health care.
News from Washington
Democrats Face Tough Choices on Trimming Spending Package
Democrats face challenges in reducing the size of their wide-ranging social spending package, a task that will be necessary in order to get key centrists to support a bill. There are several ways that Democrats could go about cutting down the size of their plan. Each approach, however, comes with drawbacks for the party.
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Limiting Medicare Benefits Deepens Rift Among Hill Democrats
Means-testing Medicare, a long-running controversy in health policy debates, is re-emerging as a major source of tension for Democrats seeking a path forward on their stalled social spending package. Centrist lawmakers are demanding that an expansion of the program to cover dental, vision and hearing care be limited to the poorest Americans, to pare the projected cost by as much as half.
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Senate Approves Short-Term Debt Ceiling Increase
The Senate approved a deal to increase the debt ceiling and keep the country solvent into December, moving to stave off a default expected to occur in a matter of days. Senators voted 50-48 along party lines on the short-term increase in the nation’s borrowing limit. The bill still needs to pass the House, which is out of town, before being sent to President Biden’s desk.
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HSA Studies & Analysis
Communicating About HSAs a Top Concern for Employers
Despite 93% of employers finding it important to be part of their employees’ long-term financial wellness through the health and retirement plans they offer, only half currently offer a high-deductible health plan paired with an employer-sponsored HSA program, according to a survey commissioned by Bend Financial. The survey also revealed the top three employer misconceptions about HSAs.
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New Cato/​YouGov Survey on Health Savings Accounts
The Cato Institute released a poll of public attitudes toward health care financing and health savings accounts. The results reveal U.S. adults do not grasp the extent to which the U.S. tax code violates their health care rights, but do support restoring those rights by improving HSAs to make them work for everyone.
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HSA Industry News
HSA Bank Unveils Retirement Healthcare Cost Calculator
HSA Bank announced that it has launched a new tool, the Retirement Healthcare Cost Calculator, to help employees plan for health care costs in retirement. The calculator is designed to help employees understand how HSAs can aid in preparing them for meeting medical costs in retirement.
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Elevate Emerges Out of Stealth with $15M to Modernize Consumer-Directed Benefits Platform
Elevate announced that it has raised $12 million in Series A funding. The fresh round of capital coincides with Elevate’s formal public launch after a year in stealth mode, as it looks to reimagine how employers and employees access, manage and experience consumer-directed benefits. The round brings Elevate’s total raise to $15 million.
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The HSA Market
Employees Don’t “Get” HSAs — What’s an Employer to Do?
More employers are recognizing the potential for HSAs to help retirees pay for health care expenses and are spending time to make sure they are structured well and include an appropriate menu of investments. For all the potential benefits of HSAs, however, they are still under-utilized. Employees often confuse them with FSAs which have been around much longer.
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Willis Towers Watson: Employers Expect Health Costs to Rise by 5% in 2022
Employers expect their health costs to rise by more than 5% in 2022 as concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic linger, according to a new survey from Willis Towers Watson. Including premiums, total costs per employee are expected to increase from $12,501 in 2020 to $13,360. Employer premium contributions are also set to go up, rising from $3,269 to $3,331.
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HSAs & Retirement
Why an HSA Should Be Part of Your Employee’s Retirement Savings Plan
Ninety-three percent of consumers over 55 years old are worried about current or future medical bills, and more than one-third reported they rarely save money for future healthcare expenses. So how can employers help? HSAs are a particularly critical component of a multi-pronged savings approach. HSAs are one of the most powerful tools in retirement preparation toolbox for Americans.
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Are You Missing Out on This Triple Tax-Advantaged Retirement Savings Account?
You’ve probably heard that Social Security won’t pay you enough to cover all of your living expenses in retirement and that you’ll need to save money independently to manage your various bills. Many people consistently put money in an IRA or 401(k) plan for this reason. But there’s another type of retirement savings plan that offers even more tax benefits than you’ll get with an IRA or 401(k).
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Americans Shifting Retirement Plans Due to Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has arguably changed everything and now a new study shows it’s having a significant impact on retirement plans for American workers. The report from Northwestern Mutual shows that over one-third (35%) of respondents have either moved up or pushed back their target retirement age, with 24% planning to retire later than previously expected.
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4 Medicare Secrets That Could Ruin Your Retirement
Many seniors rely on Medicare to provide comprehensive health coverage during retirement. But the program has its fair share of rules, and not knowing all of them could derail your finances. The good news, though, is that if you have funds socked away in an HSA, you can use them to cover your Medicare premiums, out-of-pocket expenses, and services that Medicare doesn’t cover.
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Maximizing Your HSA
Morningstar: The Best HSA Plans of 2021
As open-enrollment season approaches, you may be looking for an HSA. Finding the right plan can be a daunting task given the numerous providers available and an overall lack of transparency in the space. To make things easier, we evaluated 11 of the top HSA providers in our 2021 report. Whether you’re using an HSA as a spending account, an investment account, or both, our evaluations have you covered.
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What You Need to Know About Investing Your Health Savings Account
We want our money to work for us so that we don’t have to work forever.A tool that might be able to help is a health savings account. An HSA is both an investment account and savings account that lets users contribute money, save, and invest the balance for current and future medical expenses.
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Can HSAs Save Millennials from Financial Devastation?
A world with ever-growing obesity rates and a skyrocketing cost of living has millennials hyper focused on both their long-term health and their finances. And where do health and finances meet? A health savings account. In fact, 76% of eligible millennials have enrolled in HSA plans. Millennials are drawn to the triple-tax advantage, lower insurance premiums, and complete ownership offered by HSA plans.
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Consumer-Driven Health Care
Seeing a Primary-Care Doctor Online Is Getting Easier, and Health Insurers Say It’s Saving Money
Many insurers and telehealth companies launched virtual primary-care programs amid the pandemic. Some say they’re starting to see promising results, like improved health outcomes and lower costs. They’re betting that the future of primary care is virtual.
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