HSA News for March 4, 2019

Here is the latest news for this week from Mr HSA Roy Ramthun.

News from Washington

House Democrats Introduce Sweeping 'Medicare for All' Bill

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled an ambitious proposal on February 26 that would transition the U.S. healthcare system to a single-payer “Medicare for All” program funded by the government in two years.

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Moderate Democrats Revive Effort to Stabilize Obamacare Markets

The New Democrat Coalition, a caucus of 101 centrists, will make a push this year to stabilize Obamacare's insurance markets, reviving an effort that fell to partisan bickering in 2017.

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Drug Makers Try to Justify Prescription Prices to Senators at Hearing

Pharmaceutical executives, testifying before Congress on February 26, could not readily explain why the prices for many brand-name prescription drugs were much higher in the United States than in other developed countries. The seven executives faced a barrage of questions and criticism at a three-hour hearing of the Senate Finance Committee.

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HHS Secretary Touts Funding HSAs with Obamacare Subsidies

On February 27, HHS Secretary Alex Azar pushed the idea of funneling Affordable Care Act subsidies into HSAs for people in the individual market to pay for premiums and other out-of-pocket health spending. Azar said he was talking to governors about the idea of opening HSAs up to subsidies.

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White House Exploring HSAs to Cover More Preventive Services

The Trump administration is exploring a proposal that would allow HDHPs with HSAs to cover preventive services such as providing free insulin, a White House advisor said. The proposal would redefine what a preventive service is in an HSA eligible high-deductible plan.

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HSA Compliance Corner

The Helpful Parent

Did you know that you can help an adult child who's no longer a dependent enjoy tax savings when paying for qualified expenses? HSA owners can reimburse qualified family member's qualified expenses tax-free from her HSA based on the family member's tax relationship, not medical coverage. This rule can help or harm an HSA owner, depending on the circumstances.

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HSA Studies & Analysis

Devenir: The Number of HSAs Exceeds 25 Million

The number of HSAs grew to 25 million, holding an estimated $53.8 billion in assets at the end of 2018, according to Devenir. HSA consumers had accumulated $53.8 billion in their HSAs at the end of 2018, a year over year increase of 19%. Devenir expects this number to grow to $75 billion by the end of 2020.

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HSA Assets Should Hit $75 Billion by End of 2020, Study Projects

Assets in HSAs should rise to $75 billion by the end of 2020, according to a study by Devenir. The investment portion of those assets is expected to rise to $16.7 billion from $10.2 billion, while the deposit portion should grow to $58.3 billion from $43.5 billion, the study found.

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HSA Industry Best Practices

The Next Era of CDH: How Mobile Unlocks New Advantages

Mobile capabilities are key to any effort to encourage adoption of CDH plans. By embracing solutions that empower employees to enjoy their healthcare benefits with a high degree of mobile access, speed, and customization, companies can earn new advantages in satisfaction and retention.

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The HSA Market

HSAs Are Good for Employers, Too

An HSA lets employees contribute money to their account pre-tax and pay for eligible health care expenses from their account. There are other advantages to HSAs, not only for employees, but for employers as well.

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HDHPs are Turning Providers into Bill Collectors and They’re Not Happy About It

Thanks to HDHPs, healthcare providers today increasingly must collect full payments rather than deductibles, and directly from patients rather than from insurance companies. This trend is forcing doctors to become bill collectors and they’re not happy about it.

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HSAs & Retirement

H SA Investing Pays for More than Doctor Visits. It Could Help in Retirement.

Because remaining funds in an HSA are carried over at the end of the year, using the full tax potential of an HSA would mean investing your contributions for growth over decades in a tax-deferred manner, similar to an IRA or 401(k). In that sense, you can think of an HSA as another asset to pay for your health care spending in retirement.

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5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Make Retirement Easier

Healthcare is probably going to be one of the single biggest costs you face in retirement. One of the best ways to make sure you can afford healthcare costs is to open an HSA.

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Maximizing Your HSA

HSAs' Best Kept Secrets

If you’ve been to the doctor lately or filled a prescription, you know how expensive healthcare costs can be. If you have an HSA, you have access to a powerful tool that can make your expenses more manageable.

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How Millennials Can Use HSAs to Balance Life and Work

Striking the right balance between work and other pursuits can be tricky, but the good news is that an HSA can be a way for millennial employees to manage the balance between their work and personal lives, both now and in the future.

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Here Are Ways You Can Trim Your 2018 Tax Bill and Boost Your Savings

We're in the thick of tax season, but there are still opportunities for procrastinators to save a few bucks. For example, If you're eligible, you can make a tax-deductible contribution to your HSA by April 15 and have it count for 2018. You can contribute up to $6,900 for 2018 if you have a family insurance plan.

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Consumer-Driven Health Care

Most Health Systems Don't Offer Upfront Cost Information to Patients, Survey Finds

Although cost influences patient decisions about where to receive care, 57 percent of health systems did not offer this information before a procedure or treatment in a study conducted by VisitPay.

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Maine Companies Send Workers to Boston for Health Care at ‘Fraction of the Cost’

The same medical procedure can cost up to three or four times as much in Maine as it does in Boston, prompting some Maine companies that fund their own employee health insurance plans to send workers down to Boston for major operations.

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Why Prescription Drug List Prices Matter

List prices matter a lot. Medicare Part D drug plan enrollees and a growing number of commercially insured patients pay a percentage of the list price for drugs under their health plans’ coinsurance designs. That amount can be formidable, particularly for costly brand name and specialty products.

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Bryan CaplanComment