HSAs in the News for May 27, 2019

HSA News is compiled by Mr HSA Roy Ramthun.

News from Washington

IRS Releases 2020 Inflation-Adjusted Amounts for HSAs

This revenue procedure (Rev. Proc. 2019-25) provides the inflation adjusted amounts for HSAs as determined under § 223 of the Internal Revenue Code. This revenue procedure is effective for calendar year 2020.

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Sweeping Senate Healthcare Proposal Would Address Surprise Billing, Transparency

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and ranking member Patty Murray (D-WA) released a draft package of legislation May 23 aimed at curbing healthcare costs which they believe they can pass on a bipartisan basis. The proposal includes nearly three dozen specific bipartisan provisions. The committee is accepting comments on the discussion draft until June 5.

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Congressional Budget Office: Medicare for All Gives 'Many More' Coverage but 'Potentially Disruptive'

On May 22, experts from Congress’s nonpartisan budget office testified that a single-payer health care system would result in “many more” people with health insurance but would also be “potentially disruptive” and increase government control.

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Trump Campaign Views Healthcare as a 2020 Campaign Weapon

President Donald Trump’s campaign believes he can turn Republicans’ biggest liability from last year’s congressional elections into a winning issue for his re-election. That would have appeared highly unlikely just months ago, when Democrats seized upon the issue of coverage for pre-existing medical conditions to capture control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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July 9 Appeal Arguments Set in ‘Obamacare’ Case

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has scheduled a July 9 hearing on a Texas-based judge’s ruling that former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law is unconstitutional. The law’s opponents want the panel to uphold a 2018 ruling striking down the law.

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DOL Anticipates Proposing Another Fiduciary Rule This Year

A look at the Spring 2019 regulatory agenda for the Department of Labor shows the agency is expecting to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking for “Fiduciary Rule and Prohibited Transaction Exemptions” in December. This is a change from the fiduciary rule being in the “final rule” stage in the Fall 2018 agenda.

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HSA Studies & Analysis

May 29 Webinar: Enrollment in HSA-Eligible Health Plans -- Slow and Steady Growth Continued Into 2018

Register for this free webinar on May 29 featuring industry expert, Roy Ramthun ("Mr. HSA") and Paul Fronstin, Director of Health Research and Education at the Employee Benefit Research Institute. This webinar will examine several factors that may have caused employers to hold off on plans to move to HSA-eligible health plans, including the delay in the Cadillac tax, recent small health insurance premium increases, and low unemployment.

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Devenir: Employer Contributions to HSAs Jump in 2018

HSAs received record-breaking contributions in 2018 with accountholders and employers pouring $33.7 billion into HSAs, up 22% from 2017. Employer contributions grew to their highest level, totaling over $8 billion in 2018. The record contributions have also led to a new record carry-forward balance of $8 billion.

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EBRI: Do Accumulating HSA Balances Affect Use of Health Care Services and Spending?

This study examines whether and how HSA balances impact use of and spending on health care services. We find that as individuals build up balances in HSAs, they use more health care services than they otherwise would. In essence, HSA balances may blunt the cost-reducing effect of high-deductible health plans over time.

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HDHPs May Be Harmful for Patients with COPD

For patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), enrollment in HDHPs is associated with increased likelihood of reporting foregoing care because of costs and cost-related non-adherence, according to a new study.

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HSA Compliance Corner

Can You Auto Enroll Your Employees into an HSA?

There is a phenomenon known as "status quo bias." When given the choice to do something and do nothing, it’s what causes people to do nothing. One thing employers are doing to combat the status quo bias in the workplace is to implement auto enrollment for their employee’s retirement savings. Could the same be true for HSAs? Possibly, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

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HSA Industry News

JP Morgan Buys Health-Care Payments Firm InstaMed in the Bank's Biggest Acquisition Since the Financial Crisis

J.P. Morgan Chase is buying medical payments technology firm InstaMed to push more deeply into the $3.5 trillion market for U.S. health-care spending. The bank agreed to purchase the Philadelphia-based company that processed $94 billion in transactions last year, according to the two companies.

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Winston Ben-efits, ConnectYourCare Partner on Health Benefits

Third party benefit administrator Winston Benefits announced a partnership with ConnectYourCare to expand healthcare offerings for employers. Winston Benefit’s clients will now have access to HSAs, FSAs, HRAs and COBRA administration benefits for its more than 1.2 million plan participants.

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HSA Industry Best Practices

Four Proven Practices to Elevate HSA Communications

HSA Bank recently released a white paper discussing how employers can increase employee engagement with an HSA offering. To help strengthen an employer’s HSA communications, HSA Bank has identified four proven best practices to increase employee engagement.

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HSA Technology Is Now Boosting Participation

HSA technology is giving a boost to employee participation in HSAs by engaging participants and improving their understanding of their HSAs. In addition, growing numbers of recordkeepers are beginning to offer HSAs to their defined contribution plan clients.

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What Brokers Can Do to Turn the Tables on HSAs

If we’re serious about achieving healthcare reform, it’s time to change our thinking about HSAs. Studies indicate that emphasizing HSAs as a savings vehicle can discourage spenders from even opening an account. Yet, spenders can derive as much value from HSAs as savers.

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Making Health Care Affordable for Low-Wage Workers

To keep premiums down and better engage workers in their use of health care, employers have increasingly moved to HDHPs, which increase the likelihood that lower wage workers will be underinsured. Given that health care costs are unlikely to fall in the foreseeable future, what can employers do for their low wage workers in the meantime?

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The HSA Market

Survey: Mid-sized Employers' Health Cost Increases Hit Lowest Level in Years

Midsized employer average health care costs in Michigan are projected to increase by an average of 3 percent in 2019, one of the lowest increases in the past five years, according to a new report. A steady increase in companies using CDHPs contributed to the lower employer cost increases. Fifty-five percent of employers offered CDHPs this year, up from 53 percent in 2018.

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HSAs & Retirement

Funding an HSA as Part of My Retirement Strategy

Fidelity estimates the average couple will spend almost $300,000 on medical costs once retired. This estimate doesn’t include OTC drugs, dental or Long-Term care (which is expensive). Funding a HSA can help you met this need (and Uncle Sam pays some of those expenses).

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Maximizing Your HSA

The Secret Tax Loophole That High Earners Use to Help Their Children Financially

While many high earners help fund their child’s Roth IRA, there’s a unique technique that allows them to fund their child’s HSA at the higher family rate of $7,000 instead of the single rate of $3,500. To take advantage of this, many high earners have learned some of the hidden strategies of HSAs.

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HSA Cybersecurity: A Threat That Is Growing

HSA owners are encouraged to save the money in their accounts for long-term health care expenses, but the less they use their accounts, the greater the risk for fraud and identity theft.

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Consumer-Driven Health Care

How to Minimize Medical Care Out-of-Pocket Expenses

As many Americans have found out the hard way, health insurance often does not cover all medical care costs. Depending on your policy, you may be on the hook to pay certain out-of-pocket expenses, if you get sick or injured. Two options offer alternative ways to manage medical care costs.

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Eli Lilly Starts Selling Half-Price Generic of Humalog Insulin as Drug-Cost Fight Continues

Eli Lilly has introduced a half-priced generic version of its blockbuster fast-acting insulin, Humalog, amid intensifying scrutiny of drug prices. The generic, which is half the list price and identical to Humalog, will cost $137.35 for a vial or $265.20 for a package of pen injectors.

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Colorado Becomes First State to Cap Out-of-Pocket Insulin Costs

On May 22, Colorado became the first state in the country to limit how much someone could be required to pay out-of-pocket for insulin. Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill into law that caps co-pays associated with insulin to $100 per month.

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Comcast Is Working On an In-Home Device to Track People’s Health

Comcast is working on an in-home device to monitor people’s health, and aims to begin pilot-testing it later this year. A team has been working on the device for more than a year, according to two people with direct knowledge.

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Report: Retail Clinics Have What Patients, Healthcare Execs Want

Oncology and infusion are among next generation of specialties predicted to shift into retail settings, along with the management of chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma and hypertension, according to a new report that outlines the sweeping factors behind that shift.

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Healthcare Consumerism Today: Accelerating the Consumer Experience

McKinsey’s latest research shows that consumer engagement in healthcare continues to grow, but many payers and providers are struggling to meet changing needs and demands.

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Bryan CaplanComment