HSA New for May 6, 2019

News from Washington

Democrats Paper Over Rifts at 'Medicare for All' Hearing

House Democrats turned a potentially divisive "Medicare for All" hearing on April 30 into a high-profile show of solidarity, making a forceful case for universal health care and casting Republicans as the main obstacle to improving the nation’s medical system.

Read More

CBO Analysis Shows Transitioning to Single-Payer Health System Would Be Messy

The highly anticipated analysis on Medicare-for-All released by the Congressional Budget Office on May 1 told us this much: Transitioning the United States to such a single-payer health-care system would be messy. Very messy.

Read More

Trump Administration Files Formal Request to Strike Down All of Obamacare

The Trump Administration formally declared its opposition to the entire Affordable Care Act on May 1, arguing in a federal appeals court filing that the Obama-era legislation was unconstitutional and should be struck down.

Read More

Trump Urges Democrat Senator to Revive Bipartisan Obamacare Talks

President Trump encouraged Democratic Sen. Patty Murray (WA) to resume efforts to find a bipartisan deal to shore up Obamacare at a White House meeting on April 30. Murray said that she had been told the White House would veto the measure. Trump replied that he never said that and encouraged Murray and Alexander to resume their efforts, a Democratic source said.

Read More

5 Key Bills for Health Account Watchers to Follow

Here are five bills that could determine the future rules governing HSAs, HRAs, FSAs and other personal health and benefits accounts, as well as federal commercial health insurance regulatory framework under the Affordable Care Act.

Read More

DOL to Issue New Rules on Fiduciary Duties: Secretary Acosta

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta signaled on May 1 that the Labor Department will issue new fiduciary-related rules. Acosta said that Labor is collaborating with the Securities and Exchange Commission as it works on its advice-standards package, which includes Regulation Best Interest.

Read More

HSA Studies & Analysis

CDHPs Cut Spending, Service Use Among People with Chronic Conditions

The Health Care Cost Institute analyzed data on 10 million people in CDHPs with an HSA or HRA and found 13% lower spending overall. They broke out plan members with Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and COPD and also found lower costs, ranging from 3% for those with hypertension and 10% for diabetics.

Read More

HSA Industry News

HealthEquity Makes $2 Billion Unsolicited Bid for WageWorks

HealthEquity Inc. made an unsolicited offer to buy WageWorks Inc. for roughly $2 billion, in a deal that would combine two of the largest HSA operators. The offer was submitted to WageWorks on April 11, HealthEquity said in statement on April 30.

Read More

WageWorks Launches 24/7 Customer Support and Live Chat, Enhances Customer Experience

On May 1, WageWorks, Inc. announced the availability of 24/7 live agent support for both phone and chat. These extended services will enable clients and participants on-demand access to benefits support through the service channel they prefer.

Read More

HSA Bank Appoints John Young as Relationship Management SVP

HSA Bank has added John Young as its new senior vice president of strategic relationship management. Young will be responsible for cultivating and strengthening HSA Bank’s relationships with partners by leveraging new account production and driving increased HSA-eligible health care participation.

Read More

HSA Best Practices

Empowering Employees to Become Informed Healthcare Consumers

As an employer, you understand the benefits of an engaged workforce and the tremendous value it has on an organization in terms of productivity and retention. Empowering employees could begin with plan design. A CDHP coupled with an HSA and a generous employer match empowers them with the ability to choose how and when they spend their healthcare dollars.

Read More

The HSA Market

High Satisfaction With Employer Coverage, but Financial Challenges Persist

Most people with employer-sponsored insurance are satisfied with their health plans, but nearly half still said they had trouble affording healthcare, according to a new survey. Views tended to be tied to the deductible level of the individual’s plan.

Read More

HSAs for All: Closing the Gap on Health Care Legislation

One of the primary goals of healthcare reform is to enable people to better manage their health care costs throughout life. To this end, people on all sides of the issue should strongly consider expanding HSAs to allow all Americans to set tax-deductible funds aside for medical expenses and retirement savings.

Read More

HSAs & Retirement

Investors Should Weigh HSA Benefits

Increased longevity means that investors may need to stretch their savings even longer than expected or planned, especially when out of pocket medical expenses are accounted for. In addition to providing tax-advantaged reimbursements for qualified health care expenses, HSAs also carry a host of other benefits that can assist with stretching savings and thereby potentially improving an investor's financial health.

Read More

HSA Ownership Boosts Confidence About Retirement Expenses

Asked what their top retirement concern is, 36% of adults over the age of 65 and 51% of adults of all ages say it is health issues, according to a new Franklin Templeton survey. However, 75% of those who have an HSA say they know how they will pay for medical expenses in retirement, compared to only 36% of those who do not have an HSA.

Read More

4 Healthcare Costs in Retirement No One Warns You About

The average retired couple today will spend at least $280,000 to cover healthcare costs until end of life. Experts recommend saving for these and other future medical costs in an HSA. Here are a few of the most overlooked health costs in retirement.

Read More

How to Protect Your Retirement Plans From a Sudden Health Scare

Planning for the unknown is why you save for retirement. But protecting yourself when your plan gets upended because of poor health isn’t easy. There are tactics, though, that you can start implementing to ensure you’re secure if your retirement unexpectedly starts a few years early.

Read More

Maximizing Your HSA

What I Bet You Don't Know About HSAs

Readers of this post probably think they are quite familiar with HSAs. But did you know that you can roll your IRA over into an HSA and, at some point in your life, you are foolish if you don’t? I have to admit that I didn’t fully understand this and other things until I read William Stuart's new book.

Read More

When Can You Delay Enrolling in Medicare?

Although you’re eligible for Medicare at 65, there are circumstances where you might not want to apply, particularly if you’re working for a larger employer or contributing to an HSA. However, you may face penalties if you don’t sign up at the right time, so it’s important to know when you can delay signing up without a penalty.

Read More

Consumer-Driven Health Care

They Want It to Be Secret: How a Common Blood Test Can Cost $11 or Almost $1,000

Should a metabolic blood panel test cost $11 or $952? Both of these are real, negotiated prices, paid by health insurance companies to laboratories in 2016. New data shows that enormous swings in price for identical services are common in health care. If you’re a patient seeking a metabolic blood panel, good luck finding out what it will cost.

Read More

Health Insurance Deductibles Soar, Leaving Americans with Unaffordable Bills

In the last 12 years, annual deductibles in job-based health plans have nearly quadrupled and now average more than $1,300. Yet Americans’ savings are not keeping pace, data show. And more than four in 10 workers enrolled in a high-deductible plan report they don’t have enough savings to cover the deductible.

Read More

A Crop of New Startups Promise to Make Going to the Doctor Easier and Cheaper. I Put Them to the Test.

I tested different ways to get healthcare from startups promising to make getting healthcare an easier experience, and possibly more affordable. Here's what each one was like to use, how long each visit took, how much it cost, and whether I'd use it again.

Read More

Do Your Workers Google Symptoms? This App Wants to Change That

One telemedicine app wants to connect employees with real doctors, rather than "Dr. Google," for their symptom searches before they spend a fortune at the hospital. HealthTap is an app where users can pose health questions to more than 100,000 doctors in the U.S., and an additional 40,000 overseas.

Read More

Bryan CaplanComment