HSA News for March 18, 2019

Here is the latest HSA news compiled by Mr HSA, Roy Ramthun:

News from Washington

Trump Releases Budget Calling for 5 Percent Cuts in Domestic Spending

President Trump on Monday unveiled his 2020 budget proposal, calling for domestic spending cuts of 5 percent across the federal government. Trump's budget is unlikely to go anywhere with the House in Democrats hands, but it lays out Trump's priorities and could set the stage for shutdown fights this fall.

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Trump's Budget Could Open Up This Tax-Free Savings Account to People on Medicare

President Donald Trump's proposed budget calls for allowing Medicare beneficiaries to make tax-deductible contributions to health savings accounts "associated with high-deductible health plans offered by their employers or a Medicare Advantage plan." That's a change from current law.

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HSA Studies & Analysis

Communication Breakdown: Business Owners Don’t Understand HSAs

New research by the Nationwide Retirement Institute finds the majority of business owners consider the cost of healthcare to be the biggest expense for those in retirement. Yet, just one in five fully understands the elements of HSAs. These findings demonstrate the misconceptions and barriers that exist in helping employees save for current or future healthcare expenses.

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The Cost-Efficient HSA Benefits of the New Tax Law

Under the new tax law, an employer contribution to an HSA may be well worth the money specifically for those who fall under the specified service trade or business. Here’s one way your business owner clients can reap the benefits of the new income tax deduction while providing a valuable employee benefit.

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HSA Compliance Corner

IRS Issues 2018 Version of Publication 969 on HSAs and Other Accounts

IRS Publication 969 has been updated for use in preparing 2018 tax returns. This publication provides basic information about HSAs, HRAs, health FSAs, Archer MSAs, and Medicare Advantage MSAs, including brief descriptions of benefits, eligibility requirements, contribution limits, and distribution issues.

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HSAs & Retirement

3 Retirement Expenses You Can't Forget to Plan For

When you're thinking ahead to retirement, there are some big expenses you'll likely get stuck with as a senior that may not be on your radar. What are these big expenses you need to consider when preparing for retirement? Taxes, health care, and long-term care. Start planning for these expenses today.

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Ensuring Your HSA Investments Work for You

Instead of asking what the best mutual fund is, the question becomes what is the most suitable investment for your individual situation, based on your time horizon, risk tolerance and investment experience and objectives. In reviewing the suitability questions, you can conduct a self-assessment to determine which investments in your HSA will meet your individual goals.

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Maximizing Your HSA

Why Would I Need an HSA?

You may know already that you need a savings account. You also probably know about putting money into retirement funds and college funds, but what about an HSA? Well, an HSA is a great tool to help you pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses, copays and other stuff your insurance doesn’t cover.

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HSA vs. FSA: Which One Is Right for You?

Choosing whether to open an HSA vs. FSA can be tricky. Both accounts let you set aside tax-free funds to pay for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses, including deductibles, copays and prescriptions. But there's a big difference between HSA and FSA rules and who can use an HSA vs. FSA.

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Are You Making the Most of Your HSA?

There are essentially two ways to look at HSAs. The first is to view them as a source of ready cash for paying those high deductible amounts. The less traditional way is to view them as investment accounts. Neither viewpoint is wrong. But investing HSA funds for long-term growth does have several advantages.

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Your Complete 2019 Guide to the HSA

Few people take full advantage of the numerous benefits HSAs offer. Many of us don't realize these accounts exist or don't fully understand just how wonderful they are. With that in mind, here's a quick guide to the HSA, along with the 2019 eligibility requirements and annual contribution limits.

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HSA Contribution Flexibility

Did you know that you're not locked into an annual HSA contribution election? You can alter your contribution amounts and timing to reflect your needs and income flow. HSA owners can adjust their contributions up or down at any time. They're not locked into an annual election.

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Consumer-Driven Health Care

UnitedHealthcare Will Expand a Drug Discount Program Aimed at Lowering Consumer Costs

On March 12, UnitedHealthcare said that it will expand a program that passes drug discounts directly to consumers, a move that could lower costs for many who have struggled with high deductible payments and other out-of-pocket expenses.

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Hospitals, Insurers Set to Resist Price Transparency Proposal

Hospitals and insurers are gearing up to battle a Trump administration plan that could require the public disclosure of negotiated prices for medical services, part of an effort to lower U.S. health-care costs. Patient advocates have largely cheered the idea, saying consumers should be able to price shop before they pick a doctor or undergo treatment.

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Will Patients Be Better Consumers When They Can Access Their Health Data?

On February 11, 2019, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and CMS released two highly anticipated rules focused on increasing patient access to their own health information. The focus on patient data access is motivated by the hope that data access will translate into a more informed and savvy health care consumer.

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Bryan CaplanComment