HSA News for May 20, 2019
Read the latest news relating to HSAs compiled by Mr HSA Roy Ramthun.
News from Washington
White House Wants Patients to Know Health-Care Prices Up Front
The Trump administration has been working behind the scenes for months on a strategy to force greater price disclosure across much of the $3.5 trillion health-care industry. The push relies on existing administrative tools, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Work on Surprise Medical Bills Goes into Overdrive
Lawmakers are moving quickly to try to notch a bipartisan accomplishment and pass legislation protecting patients from massive surprise medical bills, even as they face headwinds from industry and divisions over competing plans.
House Passes Drug Pricing Bills Paired With Obamacare Fixes
House Democrats passed the session’s first legislation aimed at lowering drug prices on May 16. The health care vote came over bitter protests from Republicans, who accused Democratic leaders of politicizing once-bipartisan drug price proposals by pairing them with polarizing measures to strengthen Obamacare. The bill is unlikely to survive the GOP-controlled Senate.
Democrats Demand the Trump Administration Explain Why It Won't Defend Obamacare
The chairmen of five House committees are re-upping demands that the Justice Department and the White House hand over eight categories of documents shedding light on how they arrived at the decision to abandon all defense of the Affordable Care Act in a challenge brought by GOP-led states.
HSA Studies & Analysis
The Average American Now Pays Enough Out-of-Pocket to Meet Their Deductible on May 19
This year, the day when enrollees will, on average, have spent enough on healthcare to hit the average deductible in an employer plan will be May 19, 2019, according to research from the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker.
HSA Compliance Corner
IRS Information Letter Addresses Code § 213 Medical Care Requirements
The IRS has released an information letter addressing the requirements for an expense to qualify as medical care under Code § 213. The letter responds to a request for guidance on whether menstrual care products are reimbursable under health FSAs, HSAs, and other tax-favored accounts.
Common HSA Misperceptions, Part 2
In last week's column, we debunked five common misperceptions about HSAs. Do you remember them? Let's look at the second five this week.
HSA Industry News
MediXall.Com Is Now Accepting FSA and HSA Payments
MediXall.com, a healthcare marketplace platform designed to address the growing need of self-pay and high deductible consumers for greater transparency and price competition in their healthcare costs, is now allowing consumers to use their FSA and HSA debit cards for qualified purchases.
HSA Industry Best Practices
Educate and Automate to Boost HSA Participation
HSAs are on the move. Engaging more employees with an HSA is a key to protecting them now and in their retirement years. Intuitive, highly interactive and personalized technology along with easy-to-understand education guidance makes it work.
The HSA Market
Record Keepers Take Front Seat on HSA Bandwagon
As more defined contribution sponsors offer HSAs and more participants use them for medical care as well as investing, more record keepers want a piece of the action. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Vanguard Group, Voya Financial, and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. each announced they will offer HSAs to their DC plan clients, joining Empower Retirement in the space.
HSAs & Retirement
Savings Medicare Beneficiaries Need for Health Expenses in 2019: Some Couples Could Need as Much as $363,000
A new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute finds an 11 percent dip in the savings a retired couple might need for medical expenses — however, necessary savings are still significant at $363,000 and could be much higher for some.
Near Retirement and Have an HSA? Beware of Snags When Claiming Social Security
If you regularly contribute to an HSA and plan to claim Social Security past your full retirement age, watch out. That’s because you can no longer contribute to an HSA once you’re on Medicare. While this sounds straightforward enough, complications can arise for people who delay both Social Security and Medicare. Here’s why.
Overcoming the Top 5 Obstacles to Achieving Retirement Security
In a recent survey, five big factors were identified as obstacles to achieving retirement security. These obstacles included a lack of savings (48%) and healthcare costs (48%), along with the economy, lack of planning for retirement, and uncertainty about Social Security.
Is Medicare My Only Option at 65?
For many Americans, working past 65 is a must in order to put away enough to retire. But when your Medicare open enrollment date overlaps with your employment, and you have other healthcare coverage options, which should you choose?
Maximizing Your HSA
Qualified Medical Expenses
An HSA is one of the most advantageous ways to save money for the future, including for retirement. Its primary purpose, however, is to help accountholders save and pay for current or future healthcare expenses. When you spend your HSA funds, you can only realize tax savings for qualified medical expenses.
Consumer-Driven Health Care
5 Effective Ways to Reduce Your Prescription Drug Costs
Even with excellent health insurance, steep price hikes can be tough on your wallet, thanks to high deductibles and the spread of coinsurance. Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to lower your drug costs—without putting your health at risk.
This App Has Saved Americans $10 Billion on Prescriptions So Far
Most Americans don’t know that prices can vary wildly from pharmacy to pharmacy. GoodRx claims that it’s helped Americans save $10 billion on prescriptions since launching in 2011.
161,000 Avoidable Deaths Occur in Hospitals Annually, Leapfrog Group Finds
An estimated 161,250 preventable deaths occur each year in U.S. hospitals, according to a new analysis from the Leapfrog Group. The findings actually represent a decline in deaths from 2016 when a similar analysis found that 206,000 preventable deaths occurred each year.
Fitbit Offers New Wearables to UnitedHealthcare Participants
UnitedHealthcare plan participants are getting access to a new Fitbit device. Fitbit has expanded its partnership with the insurer to provide the Charge 3 wearable device as a buy-up option to eligible participants in the UnitedHealthcare Motion program, the companies said May 14.