HSA News for March 25, 2019

Here are the latest HSA related news items compiled by Mr HSA, Roy Ramthun for the week of March 25, 2019.

News from Washington

Senators Ask CBO to Review Options for Preventing Surprise Medical Bills

The leaders of the Senate Health Committee are asking the Congressional Budget Office to analyze possible options for protecting patients from getting hit with massive, unexpected medical bills. It's the latest sign that lawmakers are serious about moving forward on legislation to address so-called surprise medical bills, a rare issue where there could be bipartisan action this year.

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Medicare for All Is Divisive (in the Democratic Party)

No issue animated the Democrats’ 2018 congressional campaigns like health care and the promises to expand access to insurance and to lower costs. But as House Democrats sit down to draft their vision of governance in the coming weeks, lawmakers find themselves badly divided on the issue that delivered their majority.

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What Medicare for All Means for Doctors and Hospitals

Americans generally don't like the idea of giving up their private health insurance. Hospitals and doctors don't want them to, either. Private insurers typically pay medical providers a whole lot more than Medicare and Medicaid. And that's one of the main reasons why many hospitals and doctors oppose Medicare for all proposals that would eliminate or minimize private insurance.

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HSA Studies & Analysis

Survey: Feasibility of HSAs for Retirement Savings

In a recent survey, readers were asked, “Do you think it is feasible to expect employees to save in HSAs for the long term?” The largest percentage of respondents (44.9%) said it is not feasible to expect employees to save in HSAs for the long term. 29% indicated it is feasible if using the right savings strategy, while 24.6% simply said ‘Yes.”

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HSA Compliance Corner

May Employees Who Are No Longer HSA-Eligible Still Receive Distributions From Their HSAs?

We are concerned about employees who establish HSAs and later become ineligible, for example, by enrolling in our low-deductible plan during a future open enrollment. Will these employees still be able to receive distributions from their HSAs? Yes, they will still be able to receive distributions from their HSAs.

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Don't Believe These 7 Costly HSA Myths

You may know that an HSA lets you set aside pretax earnings to pay health-care expenses. But HSA rules are complex, and if you don’t understand exactly what they say, you might leave a lot of money on the table—and you might even get hit with monetary penalties. Here are seven costly HSA myths you must protect yourself from.

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HSA Industry News

Education Can Help Employees Engage in Managing Health Care Costs

According to its Health & Wealth Index for 2019, HSA Bank recommends employers offer a guide about health plans, their costs and what they cover; a health plan comparison tool; and a tax-advantaged savings account to help employees become better health care consumers.

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The HSA Market

Does Your Company Offer HSAs? Here's Why It Should.

If you're in the dark about HSAs, it pays to learn more about this crucial savings option. It could be just the thing that gives your employees some peace of mind and helps you retain key talent in the process.

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Former Aetna CEO: Watch What Jeff Bezos Is Doing in Health Care

Former Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini says folks should spend more time watching Amazon specifically than Haven when it comes to health care. "[Amazon's] move to do HSAs and FSAs through the cloud on his site is a bigger deal than anything Haven's done," Bertolini said in an interview with Yahoo Finance.

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HSAs & Retirement

More Americans Are Using a Trick That Can Help You Save Money for Retirement—There's Just 1 Catch

More and more Americans are using an HSA to supplement their retirement savings. HSAs are a tax-friendly investment vehicle that can act as a powerful retirement-savings tool if you let your balance compound over years. There is one catch: You can only contribute money to an HSA if you have an HDHP.

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Maximizing Your HSA

How to Make a $3,450 Tax Deduction With an HSA

HSAs are a tax-smart deal if you qualify. You may even be able to open one up now and claim a nice deduction on your yet-to-be-filed 2018 Form 1040. Here’s what you need to know.

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10 Beauty Products You Didn't Know You Could Buy With Your FSA or HSA Card — and They're All on Amazon

Amazon may already be your go-to place for pantry items and popular electronics, but thanks to its FSA and HSA shop, the retailer is about to be your new favorite place to stock your beauty bag, too.

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Consumer-Driven Health Care

Experts: Industry Players Shouldn't Fear Rise of Consumerism in Healthcare

Healthcare players shouldn't fear rapid industry change and growing emphasis on consumerism, experts say. Though the talk of patients as consumers leaves a bad taste in some people’s mouths. While the industry has talked about turning patients into consumers for a long time, it has been just in the last decade that costs have gone up between 50% and 60% and is primarily on the shoulders of individuals.

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State Laws Ban Surprise Medical Bills. She Got One for $227K and Fought Back.

The first surprise was the massive heart attack, which struck as Debbie Moehnke waited in a medical clinic last summer. The next surprise: Bills totaling more than $454,000 for the medical miracle that saved her life. Of that stunning amount, she owed nearly $227,000 after her health insurance paid its part.

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Health Plans for State Employees Use Medicare's Hammer on Hospital Bills

Some states–-including Montana, North Carolina and Oregon—are moving to control costs of state employee health plans. Their strategy: Use Medicare reimbursement rates to recalibrate how they pay hospitals. If the gamble pays off, more private-sector employers could start doing the same thing.

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It Will Take More Than Transparency to Reduce Drug Prices, Economists Say

The Trump administration is working to bring drug prices down. The goal is to create more competition and lower costs. But economists and analysts, who applaud the efforts to bring clarity to what is now a murky pricing system, doubt the effort will actually cut total spending on prescription drugs.

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3 Ways to Help Employees Save Money on Prescriptions

Rx sticker shock is on the rise. Unfortunately, many employees don’t know that the pharmacy they frequent may not always offer the lowest price for their medications. Here are three Rx buying tips you can share today with your employees.

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UPS Eyes In-home Health Services With U.S. Vaccine Project

UPS is preparing to test a U.S. service that dispatches nurses to vaccinate adults in their homes, as the company and its healthcare clients work to fend off cost pressures and competitive threats from Amazon.com. UPS has not disclosed which vaccines it would be using in the project.

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Death by a Thousand Clicks: Where Electronic Health Records Went Wrong

The U.S. government claimed that turning American medical charts into electronic records would make health care better, safer, and cheaper. Ten years and $36 billion later, the system is an unholy mess: Inside a digital revolution gone wrong.

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Bryan CaplanComment