HSA News for April 8, 2019

Here is the latest news in HSAs compiled by Mr. HSA, Roy Ramthun.

News from Washington

Legislation Slows to Crawl in Divided Washington

Roughly 100 days into the new Congress, the business of legislating is slowing to a crawl on Capitol Hill. Of the 10 bills that have been signed into law so far this year only two were substantial enough to require roll call votes in the Senate. Both were holdovers from last year.

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Trump Punts Health Care Until After 2020

On April 1, President Donald Trump signaled that congressional Republicans would wait until after the 2020 elections to vote on a GOP replacement for Obamacare — putting off a presumably savage legislative battle on a hot-button campaign issue until after his re-election bid.

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Democratic Senators Unveil 'Medicare X' Bill to Expand Coverage

Two Democrat Senators--Michael Bennet (CO) and Tim Kaine (VA)--would allow anyone to buy Medicare plans, a proposal they say is a more realistic than proposals like Medicare for all that would eliminate private insurance companies and reshape the American health care system.

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Reps. LaHood, Walorski Unveil Bipartisan Bill to Include OTC Items as Qualified Medical Expenses

Reps. Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) introduced a bipartisan proposal that would amend federal law to include certain over-the-counter medical products as qualified medical expenses. The bill would permit individuals to use HSAs and FSAs to purchase OTC medications.

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HSA Studies & Analysis

Devenir's Credit Union HSA Update

According to the latest NCUA filings, at the end of 2018 credit unions held $1.62 billion in HSA deposits in approximately 670,000 accounts. Credit Union assets were up 10.4%, trailing the 19.0% growth of the overall market. Of those credit unions holding HSA deposits as of 12/31/18, 67 held over $5 million in HSA deposits and 242 held over $1 million in HSA deposits.

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HSA Industry News

WageWorks Rolls Out New HSA Enhancements

WageWorks has released new tools for HSA users in an effort to help them save more and spend smarter. An "HSA Hub" will allow employees to view their election amounts, total account, investment and cash balances, as well as their earnings history. Workers also now have the capability to view their HSA receipts and access future HSA funds before their tax-free contributions have accumulated.

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Firms Roll Out Advisor-Friendly HSA Solution

MyHSA is partnering with Franklin Templeton, Lord Abbett, MFS Investment Management and State Street Global Advisors, along with LeafHouse Financial, to launch an investment- and advisor-friendly HSA solution available for the employer-sponsored HSA market.

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HSA Industry Best Practices

How Using an HSA Can Improve Recruiting and Retention Efforts

When it comes to keeping talent at your company, the right benefits are key. Many employers are turning to CDHPs and HSAs as a way to continue offering benefits within their budget. Structuring a benefits plan using a CDHP should include generous HSA employer match.

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Five Ways to Win With Your Health Plan

Here are five contrarian strategies you can consider for attracting workers. #1 - Contribute generously to employees’ HSA, HRA or FSA accounts. By effectively eliminating out-of-pocket costs, you remove friction for your young, “invincible” population. These folks balance out your risk pool. In my experience, it’s tough to attract them.

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The HSA Market

Amazon's Use of HSAs Opening Doors for New Solutions to Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Amazon’s move into healthcare may prove to be a great example of industry consolidation with the goal of making shopping for healthcare as easy as other retail purchases. If any brand can bring awareness and popularity to HSAs, it’s Amazon. The e-commerce giant already has a loyal consumer base and a convenient online platform, experts say.

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HSAs & Retirement

Estimates for Health Care Costs in Retirement Continue to Rise

A 65-year old couple retiring in 2019 can expect to spend $285,000 in health care and medical expenses throughout retirement, Fidelity estimates, but it says it is possible to save for retirement health costs via HSAs.

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These People Are on the Verge of Retiring — and They Have Nothing Saved

About half of American households over the age of 55 have nothing saved for retirement. The over-55 crowd may have a significant savings shortfall to make up, but there are steps they can take. Still working? If you are eligible, put more money in your HSA.

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Sponsors See HSAs as Great Thing for Retirement Savings

The popularity of HSAs may be on the verge of surging higher as more companies encourage employees to use the accounts not only as piggy banks for immediate health expenses but also as long-term investments to be tapped only in retirement. If the trend accelerates, so too will the growth of HSAs, industry observers say.

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Maximizing Your HSA

Is an HSA Right for You?

If you're enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan and are looking to have more control over your health care spending, it might be time to consider opening an HSA. HSAs are one of the most tax-efficient savings options available. Here's some advice on whether it may be right for you.

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Make the Most of HSAs

Open enrollment is a time when millions of Americans are looking to get the most out of their benefits while reducing their health care costs. One of the best ways is to do this is by enrolling in an HSA. An HSA can be a good way to save money for medical expenses and reduce your taxable income.

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HSAs Help Your Taxes – and Your Health

Creating an HSA for yourself is a fantastic way to set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses and lower your overall health-care costs.The untaxed money you sock away in your HSA can be used to pay for deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and other medical expenses.

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HSA Investment Advice: Think Twice Before Spending HSA Funds

HSAs are pitched mostly as a tax-advantaged financial tool to help those with HDHPs control current medical costs. But here's a little HSA investment advice: Think hard before you spend your HSA funds.

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Consumer-Driven Health Care

Average Prices Higher for Outpatient Healthcare, Study Finds

Commercially insured patients face higher prices for healthcare services performed in outpatient settings compared to those at physician offices, according to a Health Care Cost Institute study . Researchers found that the average price for the services was always higher in an outpatient setting than an office one.

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Americans Borrowed $88 Billion to Pay for Health Care Last Year, Survey Finds

Americans borrowed an estimated $88 billion over the last year to pay for health care, according to a new survey released on April 2. The survey also found that one in four Americans have skipped treatment because of the cost, and that nearly half fear bankruptcy in the event of a health emergency.

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Congressional Panel: Consumers Shouldn't Have to Solve Surprise Medical Bill Problem

Surprise billing is one of the rare public policy problems that are both bipartisan and in need of a federal solution. One point drew clear agreement during a April 2 House subcommittee hearing: the solution must protect patients — not demand that they be great negotiators.

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Telehealth Use Surged in 2017

Telehealth use jumped 53% from 2016 to 2017, outpacing all other sites of care, according to a new report. In 2017, most people used telehealth for injuries like bruises and open wounds, acute respiratory infections and digestive problems.

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Bryan CaplanComment