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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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?

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Bryan CaplanComment