Your Weekly HSA News – October 18, 2021

Read the latest news about Health Savings Accounts and consumer-driven health care.
News from Washington
Biden Signs Debt Limit Hike, but December Standoff Looms
President Joe Biden signed into law a bill raising the nation’s debt limit until early December. The passage of the short-term debt ceiling increase ensures that, for now, the U.S. will continue to meet its obligations. But it sets up another potential cliff at the end of the year.
Read More
Democrats Confront Divisions Over Health Care Benefits in Biden’s Mega-Bill
Democrats, wrestling with what to cut from their economic and safety net package, are confronting intensifying divisions over health care as competing factions on Capitol Hill fight to keep their priorities off the chopping block. As House leaders trend toward prioritizing Obamacare subsidies and closing the Medicaid coverage gap, Sen. Bernie Sanders says expanded Medicare benefits aren’t up for negotiation.
Read More
HSA Studies & Analysis
HSA Balances, Contributions, Distributions, and Other Vital Statistics: Evidence From the EBRI HSA Database
Key findings for 2020 from EBRI’s HSA database indicate that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, HSA accountholders continue to build up savings in their HSAs. However, few HSAs are invested and most accountholders take distributions each hear. Employer contributions can play a role in fostering accountholders’ engagement with their HSAs.
Read More
EBRI: Employer Uptake of Pre-Deductible Coverage for Preventive Services in HSA-Eligible Health Plans
A 2021 survey by EBRI found that 76 percent of employer say that they have added pre-deductible coverage as a result of IRS Notice 2019-45. Pre-deductible coverage was most often added for health care services related to heart disease and diabetes care. Most employers would add pre-deductible coverage for additional health care services if allowed by law.
Read More
HSA Compliance Corner
How HSAs Work for Same-Sex Couples and Domestic Partners
Same-sex couples or domestic partners covered by the same HSA-qualified plan could both be eligible to contribute to an HSA but the combined contribution limits are different. The rules for HSA distributions are also different because the law only permits HSA funds to be used tax-free for eligible medical expenses incurred by the individual, a spouse, or a dependent child.
Read More
Plan Sponsor Duties With Regard to HSAs
During a panel at PLANSPONSOR’s virtual 2021 HSA Review conference, “Plan Sponsor Duties With Regard to HSAs,” an attorney and an adviser discussed legislation and regulations applicable to HSAs, employers’ duties and responsibilities with regard to HSA investments, and what actions can trigger ERISA governance of it.
Read More
HSA Best Practices
Boosting HSA Participation and Engagement
It is beneficial to get employees engaged with their HSAs because under-engaged employees miss out on a significant financial opportunity. Plan sponsors can use various plan design elements and methods of communication to get employees active with their health savings accounts and help them maximize their benefits.
Read More
The HSA Market
Teladoc Takes Its Primary Care Service Nationwide with Aetna Slated to Roll Out in Early 2022
Teladoc Health is taking its primary care pilot nationwide, expanding it to commercial health plans, employers and other payers. The telehealth giant piloted its virtual primary care program in 2019 with the aim of early detection of chronic disease. The service now offers 70 distinct diagnoses. Teladoc says it has signed several Fortune 1000 employers, with other large employers and health plans such as Aetna launching nationwide in early 2022.
Read More
HSAs & Retirement
5 Better Ways to Save for Retirement Than a 401(k)
If you’ve already maxed out your employer match for your 401(k), or your employer doesn’t offer one to begin with, there are several better options than investing more in your 401(k). If you are eligible, you can contribute to an HSA, and you can use your account to pay for medical expenses out of pocket and reimburse yourself later — years later. That can turn the HSA into a stealth retirement account.
Read More
This Is the 1 Retirement Account I Would Recommend to Anyone
You’ve probably heard of the merits of 401(k)s and IRAs, but there’s one account that could actually be a better option than either. Health savings accounts are designed to house medical savings, and they’re intended for people of all ages, not just seniors. But they actually make pretty great retirement savings accounts as well.
Read More
What Medicare Doesn’t Cover and How Planning Now Can Help Avoid Surprises Later
Even if you’re years away from eligibility, understanding what Medicare does and does not cover is essential for anyone saving for retirement. Traditional Medicare only covers some of your healthcare expenses. What it doesn’t cover can put a real dent in your retirement income. You can explore ways to save more now through tax-smart savings vehicles such as your employer’s retirement plan or an HSA.
Read More
Maximizing Your HSA
The 5 Stages of Health Savings Account Ownership
Employees’ personal and medical needs change as they journey through their careers. An HSA is a powerful tool to support them through whatever the years bring. But employees don’t always know how they can best leverage HSAs to maximize their health, wealth and financial security. Employers can help them get there as they progress through the five stages of account ownership.
Read More
Consumer-Driven Health Care
Insurance Focused on Virtual Visits? The Pros and Cons of a New Twist in Health Plans
At the height of the covid-19 pandemic, people often relied on telemedicine for doctor visits. Now, insurers are betting that some patients liked it enough to embrace new types of health coverage that encourages video visits, or outright insists on them. Priority Health in Michigan offers coverage requiring online visits first for non-emergency primary care. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, has a similar plan.
Read More