HSA News for May 13, 2019

Check out the latest from the world of HSAs compiled by Mr HSA, Roy Ramthun.

News from Washington

HHS Secretary Azar: Drug Makers Must Start Listing Prices in TV Commercials

HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced on May 8 that prescription drug makers must begin disclosing their list prices in television commercials. The move by the Trump administration is aimed at lowering drug costs and providing transparency for American patients.

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Trump Pushes to End ‘Surprise Medical Bills’ from Hospital Care Outside a Health Plan’s Network

On May 9, President Trump called on Congress to pass legislation protecting consumers from “surprise medical bills,” incurred after patients receive care from a doctor who is outside their health plan’s network.

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House Votes to Overturn Trump Obamacare Move

The House of Representatives voted May 9 to overturn guidance the Trump administration released last year expanding a program that allows states to innovate and waive certain Obamacare rules. The bill, framed by Democrats as protecting people with pre-existing conditions, passed in a largely party-line vote.

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HSA Studies & Analysis

HSAs Falling Short on Two Key Selling Points

A recent survey of Americans with employer-based health insurance finds that HSAs are failing on two of their main selling points: they are not helping consumers to save money, and cost-comparison shopping is still problematic for enrollees of HSAs.

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HSA Compliance Corner

Common HSA Misperceptions, Part 1

Todd Berkley and Bill Stuart discussed common misperceptions about HSAs at an industry conference earlier this week. This article, and its companion next week, draw heavily from that discussion. Here are the first five of 10 pieces of incorrect information about HSAs - the the facts.

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HSA Industry News

Alegeus Introduces Product It Says Will Disrupt the Health Care Market

Alegeus unveiled the next generation of its WealthCare mobile product. The "Smart HSA" app is a multi-phased initiative that features machine learning and artificial intelligence I to deliver to participants an intuitive, personalized, and self-guided account experience.

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National HSA Awareness Day Slated for October 15

WEX Health will hold its first annual National HSA Awareness Day on October 15. The day will be highlighted with a live stream webinar from an adviser yet to be determined, who will speak on the benefits of HSAs, not just for health care costs but for income in retirement. Health benefits administrators and HSA providers are being encouraged to participate in and support the event.

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The HSA Market

Education Dominates HSA Concerns of Plan Sponsors

Attendees at the Plan Sponsor Council of America’s National Conference got a sneak peek at the findings of the PSCA’s Inaugural HSA Survey. According to their preview of the survey results, employee education was far and away the predominant concern of plan sponsors. Nothing else came close.

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HSAs & Retirement

HSA Savings for Seniors Who Want to Work Longer

One of the most frustrating components of Medicare interactions with HSAs involves seniors who want to keep working and keep saving in an HSA plan. participants who work in a company with fewer than 20 employees have no choice but to go with Medicare. But there are efforts underway to fix this.

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This Is the No. 1 Barrier to Early Retirement

Retiring early is a dream for many. Unfortunately, even if you actually manage to save a pretty substantial nest egg, there could be obstacles standing in your way to early retirement. The biggest of those obstacles: covering healthcare costs.

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Capturing the Triple Tax Benefit of HSAs

The triple tax benefit makes HSAs a powerful long-term savings vehicle. Some careful planning can help you take full advantage of the power of HSAs in your financial life. A simple example will help illustrate what I mean.

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How Do Your Medicare Options Factor Into Your Overall Retirement Plan?

What a lot of advisers don’t talk about, or help their clients navigate, are the health care coverage options available through Medicare when you become eligible at age 65. Pre-retirees and retirees are wise to be worried. The Medicare system is notoriously complex, and the decisions you make now can have an impact years down the road.

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Only Half of Workers Are Confident About This 1 Retirement Expense

Only around 52% of workers said they're at least somewhat confident they'll be able to afford long-term care in retirement, according to new report by EBRI, and just 15% considered themselves "very confident" about their ability to cover this particular expense. When you're in your 50s and 60s and still relatively healthy, moving into a nursing home is probably one of the last things on your mind.

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Maximizing Your HSA

How to Make the Most of Your HSA — for Now, and the Future

Although they can be a huge benefit come retirement, HSAs are also handy for unexpected medical expenses. Financial experts typically suggest account holders refrain from using funds in an HSA until they’re ready to retire, when health care costs will amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. But not everyone can do that.

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5 HSA Benefits You Need to Know About

If you've been on the fence about opening an HSA, it pays to read up on the benefits these accounts offer. Here are a few you should be aware of.

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3 HSA Drawbacks to Be Aware of

What's not to love about an HSA? HSAs are a useful savings tool and there are plenty of good reasons to open one. Just be aware of the drawbacks involved and make smart choices to avoid losing money to penalties needlessly.

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Here’s One Health-Insurance Choice That Can Save You Money Now and Make You Even More Later

Whether you have health insurance through your employer or purchase coverage through an ACA exchange, the combination of a lower-cost, high-deductible health insurance and an HSA may provide great advantages. You save on taxes immediately, the money can be invested for decades, and you may never have to pay taxes on any of it.

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Consumer-Driven Health Care

Feds Want to Show Health Care Costs on Your Phone, but That Could Take Years

Federal officials are proposing new regulations that for the first time could allow patients to compare prices charged by various hospitals and other health care providers using data sent to their smartphones. Consumers have long sought more knowledge about health care prices, but administration officials cautioned it could take two years or more for it to appear in a user-friendly form on a phone app.

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Health Care Price Transparency Remains Elusive

Have you seen the commercial where a guy goes into a doctor’s office and yells, “I’m not gonna pay a lot for this hip-replacement surgery!” Me neither. For such an ad to exist, health care providers would need to post prices consumers can actually understand. Price transparency is woefully lacking.

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Many Hospitals Charge Double or Even Triple What Medicare Would Pay

In Indiana, a local hospital system, Parkview Health, charged private insurance companies about four times what the federal Medicare program paid for the same care, according to a study of hospital prices in 25 states released on May 9 by the non-profit RAND Corp.

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Should Employers Proceed with Reference-Based Pricing?

A big problem in the healthcare industry is that most employees aren’t aware of the prices of certain medical services until they receive the bill. But reference-based pricing can take aim at that problem head on — if done right, benefits experts said May 3 during the World Health Care Congress.

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Bryan CaplanComment