HSA News for March 11, 2019

The latest news in HSAs from Mr HSA, Roy Ramthun.

News from Washington

Democrat Leaders, Progressives Struggle Over 'Medicare for All'

Democratic leaders in the House are offering warnings about the high cost of "Medicare for all," underscoring concerns in the party about moving forward with the single-payer health care proposal.

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Top White House Official Warns Hospitals on Surprise Medical Bills

A top White House policy adviser warned hospitals on March 4 that they need to address the issue of surprise medical bills if they don’t want Congress to do it for them. Legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills is seen as one of the most likely areas for bipartisan action on health care this year.

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Trump Administration Weighs Publicizing Secret Rates Hospitals and Doctors Negotiate With Insurers

The Trump administration is sounding out the medical industry on requiring hospitals, doctors and other health-care providers to publicly disclose the secretly negotiated prices they charge insurance companies for services, a move that would expose for the first time the actual cost of care.

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Trump Administration Looks to Jump Start Interstate Health-Insurance Sales

The Trump administration is seeking comment on eliminating existing regulatory barriers blocking the sale of health insurance plans across state lines, a move that is permitted under the Affordable Care Act. CMS Administrator Seema Verma has made increasing choice and competition a priority during her tenure.

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HSA Studies & Analysis

Study: Consumers Skeptical of Value-Based Insurance Design

As much as payers are hoping to expand the acceptance of using value-based insurance design (VBID), consumers are still distrustful of what insurance companies deem as high-quality services, according to a new study, published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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Women in High-Deductible Health Plans Delay Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment

Low-income women enrolled in HDHPs delay chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer by nearly nine months, compared with low-income women enrolled in low-deductible plans, a new study shows. Delays also occurred at the diagnosis and testing stages, according to the research published this week inHealth Affairs.

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HSA Industry Best Practices

Better HSA Participation Through Behavioral Economics

By leveraging the tenants of behavioral economics, 401k advisors and plan sponsors can help plan participants become more engaged and make better choices that will lead to better outcomes–particularly when it comes to taking advantage of HSAs, according to a new white paper from Bend Financial.

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HSAs & Retirement

Americans in Tug-of-War Between Early Retirement and Health Costs

Seventy-six percent of those who are financially independent think retiring earlier will help them live longer, yet top concerns about retiring early are outliving their money and health care costs, according to a survey by TD Ameritrade.

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Maximizing Your HSA

HSA Taxes in 2019: 4 Must-Know Facts

Not everyone can use an HSA, because the accounts are only available to those who have a particular type of healthcare coverage. Nevertheless, it's worth checking your health insurance policy to see if it lets you use an HSA. Below, you'll find four key facts about HSAs that you need to know to make a smart decision about using them.

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Making the Most of an HSA Once You Turn Age 65

Does the penalty for using HSA money for non-medical expenses disappear entirely at age 65? Does that mean I could withdraw the money after age 65 for a vacation and just pay taxes on the money, like I would with a 401(k)? The answer is Yes to both questions.

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You Can Now Use Your FSA or HSA Card to Pay for Medical Items on Amazon

You can now use your HSA or FSA card to pay for eligible items on Amazon. The change lets you put you balance towards dozens of health and hygiene items, including deodorant, eye drops, vitamins, lip balm, first aid kits, certain contraceptives, and more.

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Consumer-Driven Health Care

Paying Patients to Use Lower-Priced Health Providers Can Reduce Health Spending

Paying people to use lower-price medical providers can help reduce health care spending, according to a new study. Researchers found that paying patients $25 to $500 for using a lower-price medical provider for each of 135 elective procedures led to a 2.1 percent reduction in the average price paid of all eligible services.

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As Hospitals Post Price Lists, Consumers Are Asked to Check Up on Them

CMS has invited hospitals, other health care stakeholders and the public to weigh in on possible enforcement mechanisms, as well as to suggest future price transparency measures. Hundreds of comments have been submitted.

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Bryan CaplanComment