Your Weekly HSA News – September 20, 2021

Read the latest news about Health Savings Accounts and consumer-driven health care.
News from Washington
Democrats Suffer Blow on Drug Pricing as 3 Moderates Buck Party
Democrats’ signature legislation to lower drug prices was defeated in a House committee on September 15 as three moderate Democrats voted against their party. The vote is a striking setback for Democrats’ $3.5 trillion package. Drug pricing is intended to be a key way to pay for the package. Leadership can still add the provision back later in the process, but the move shows the depth of some moderate concerns.
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Democrats Brace for Toughest Stretch Yet With Biden Agenda
House Democrats this week wrapped up the bulk of committee work on a $3.5 trillion package of social benefits and climate programs. Now the harder part begins. The process featured plenty of infighting between disparate factions over various provisions — differences that have created headaches for Democratic leaders and will need resolving before the legislation hits the floor.
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Hoyer Affirms House Will Vote Sept. 27 on Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) affirmed the chamber will vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill on Sept. 27, signaling Democratic leaders are still plowing full speed ahead on their planned timeline even though the larger $3.5 trillion bill to invest in social safety net programs still faces tough hurdles.
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HHS: ACA Exchange Enrollment Reaches 12.2M Thanks to Enhanced Subsidies
The COVID-19 special enrollment period increased enrollment in the Affordable Care Act’s federal and state-run insurance exchanges to 12.2 million people, as signups were buoyed by boosted tax credits, new federal data shows. More than 2.8 million people signed up for coverage during the 2021 special enrollment period that ended last month.
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HSA Studies & Analysis
Devenir’s 2021 Mid-Year HSA Research Report
Devenir reports that as of June 30, 2021, HSA assets grew to $92.9 billion held in over 31 million accounts, a year-over-year increase of 26% for assets and 6% for accounts. HSA investment assets soared to $30.4 billion at the end of June, up 73% year-over-year. Devenir currently projects that the HSA market will exceed 36 million accounts by the end of 2023, holding over $131 billion in assets.
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HSA Contributions, Distributions Declined in 2020: EBRI
HSA balances increased by a modest $400 between 2019 and 2020, the Employee Benefit Research Institute reported. But average annual contributions fell 2% from an all-time high of $2,041 to $1,995, and average annual distributions plummeted to a record low of $1,714, possibly reflecting pandemic-related employment concerns and fewer people seeking routine medical care during the pandemic.
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HSA Account Holders Missing Out on Benefits, EBRI Says
HSA participants are not taking full advantage of the tax-advantaged savings and investment opportunities offered by the accounts, according to a report by EBRI. Participants are not contributing as much as they could and are using HSAs for small medical expenses. HSAs could be more useful if they were saved for large expenses and retirement health costs, with the funds invested in the meantime.
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5 Experts and Advisers Discuss the Pros and Cons of HSAs
While many employees choose their healthcare plans based on which plan takes less money from their paycheck, there are good and bad consequences associated with HDHPs accompanied by an HSA. To maximize the benefits of both an HSA and understand the costs, Employee Benefit News spoke with healthcare experts to share the top considerations employees should understand before enrolling.
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The HSA Market
As Gig Work Increases, ICHRAs Might Be the Future of Healthcare Benefits
The healthcare industry has taken a hit since COVID-19 caused a tidal wave of layoffs, resulting in the loss of health insurance for employees across the country. Plenty of those workers took on gig work, which can provide a paycheck but rarely comes with employer-sponsored benefits. But employers can still support these limited-time employees through an ICHRA.
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HSAs & Retirement
3 Retirement Expenses People Never Think About — But Should
Take a moment and make a list of all the expenses you’ll have in retirement. There are a lot of them, and they’re not always easy to predict. Most people remember the basics, like food, housing, and transportation. But far too many people are forgetting about taxes, healthcare, and emergency expenses.
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Maximizing Your HSA
9 Reasons You Should Take Advantage of Your HSA
Many people are familiar with flexible spending accounts. But health savings accounts offer even more flexibility. If you’re eligible to participate in an HSA, here are nine reasons it pays to do so.
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Consumer-Driven Health Care
The Next Big Tech Battle: Amazon’s Bet on Healthcare Begins to Take Shape
Amazon, long assumed to be a sleeping giant in healthcare, is finally awakening. Its target audience is striking in its breadth: the company is at once selling its healthcare credentials directly to consumers, to employers frustrated with costs, and to the hospitals and health networks responsible for administering care.
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The Disappearing Primary Care Practice
The rapid consumption of clinics by huge players does not serve employees well. Just as new benefit models are emerging that emphasize ease of access to primary care and referrals to top-quality specialists and health systems, these mergers are forcing doctors to refer patients internally.
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