HSA News for June 24, 2019

Read the latest news about Health Savings Accounts and consumer-driven health care. This list is compiled by Mr. HSA, Roy Ramthun.

News from Washington

Trump Says He Will Roll Out New Health Care Plan in Next Couple of Months

President Trump said he'll be rolling out a new health care plan in a couple of months, saying it will be a key focus in his 2020 reelection campaign, Trump told ABC News in an interview aired June 16. "We'll be announcing that in two months, maybe less," he added, when prompted for specifics.

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Trump's Health Care Focus Puts GOP on Edge

President Trump has put the issue of health care back on the political front burner, providing ammunition to Democrats and worrying Republicans who think a new battle over Obamacare will hurt their party in next year’s elections. Republican lawmakers have little idea of what to expect and say there hasn’t been communication from the administration on the issue.

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Key Senators Release Bipartisan Package to Lower Health Care Costs

Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) unveiled a revised version of their bipartisan package aimed at lowering health care costs, ahead of a committee markup expected next week. The package takes steps to protect patients from receiving massive “surprise” medical bills when they get care from an out-of-network doctor.

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Poll Finds Most Americans Misunderstand Full Scope of 'Medicare for All'

Many Americans remain confused about the impact “Medicare for All” will have on the health care system, according to a new poll. 55 percent of respondents believe that people with private insurance would be able to keep their current plans, though a national health plan would replace that coverage.

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HSA Studies & Analysis

HSAs Provide a Sweet Tax Break, But Some May Increase Health Care Spending

According to a new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, HSAs may fall short of their promise to reduce medical costs. It turns out people with larger HSA balances may increase their use of medical services, offsetting some of the decline in utilization caused by high deductibles.

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With High-Deductible Employer Health Plans, Who Wins?

Some firms help employees manage the risk of HDHPs by also offering an HSA—either contributed to by the employer or not—which can be dipped into in case of a more serious medical condition. Working for a company that has generous HSA benefits can make a big difference in how effective the plan is. It also reveals something about a company’s motivations.

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HSA Compliance Corner

Coding HSA Cards

Did you know that you may or may not be able to purchase non-qualified expenses with your HSA debit card? It all depends on how your HSA provider codes the card. Since Health FSA funds can be used to purchase only qualified expenses, administrators in most cases must code the Health FSA debit card to purchase only qualified items at retail. But HSAs are different.

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The HSA Market

Rising Prices Drive Estimated 6% Medical Cost Inflation in 2020

Medical costs are projected to rise 6% in 2020 as prices continue to swell and utilization stagnates, according to a new report from PwC's Health Research Institute. Despite employers' efforts to stem unnecessary care through HDHPs, medical cost growth still outpaces general inflation.

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The Cadillac Tax: It’s Time to Kill This Policy Zombie

The Cadillac tax is a classic “policy zombie,” retaining support despite a transformed environment. In today’s world, policy makers should incentivize employers to strengthen rather than cut their support for workers’ and dependents’ health insurance. Abundant evidence shows the need for this tax to be repealed.

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HSAs & Retirement

6 Tips for Using an HSA Before and During Retirement

Many companies offer HSAs as part of their benefits packages. While HSAs can be a great tool for setting aside pretax income for medical expenses, it’s important to note some exceptions as you save for retirement or consider spending those funds. Here are some tips concerning HSAs as you are preparing for, or are already in your retirement years.

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3 Ways to Maximize HSAs as a Retirement Account

An HSA can be a great way to save for healthcare expenses in retirement. How can you maximize your HSA to cover healthcare expenses in retirement? The following are some ideas that can help.

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Even People Who Say Saving for Retirement Is Critical and Want to Amass $1.7 Million Are Probably Going About It the Wrong Way

Planning for retirement is more than just socking away dollar after dollar in a savings account. It's what you do with that money — where, when, and how you invest it — that makes all the difference. Not only is investing in the stock market one of the best ways to grow your money, but investing through an IRA or HSA is incredibly beneficial, if not simply for the tax breaks.

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Why Your State Might Be Sabotaging Your Retirement Strategy

While the congressional intent behind HSAs was to lower health care costs for Americans, they have become the on-point retirement plan for Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z. The ability to put money away and receive a tax deduction, have the money grow tax deferred and pay out tax free for qualified medical expenses is a clear home run. That is unless you live in California and New Jersey.

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Don't Count on Medicare for These 10 Common Health Expenses

As with all insurance policies, you should have a clear understanding of the terms -- because, like other insurance, Medicare has quite a few restrictions on what it will pay for. Avoid unpleasant surprises. Make sure you know about these 10 medical services that are not covered under standard Medicare.

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Maximizing Your HSA

How to Maximize the Value of Your HSA

There’s at least one way to save money on the rising costs of healthcare — and that’s by opening an HSA. To get the most out of an HSA, you need to understand how they work.

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Here Are Some Tips for Making the Most of Your HSA

While it’s unlikely you can avoid all health care expenses in retirement, there are resources that can help ease that burden a bit. For instance, consider an HSA. Think of an HSA as a mini retirement fund set up specifically for health care expenses.

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12 Reasons Why I Love HSAs

Do you feel yourself getting upset about the increasing cost of health care? Are you looking for ways to save on out-of-pocket costs? Have you tried an HSA? For both tax-savvy financial gurus and just ordinary people like myself, I encourage you to read these 12 reasons why I love HSAs.

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Health Savings Accounts Now

HSAs are a consumer-driven alternative to traditional medical coverage that combine an HDHP with an IRA-like account called an HSA. HSAs have been around for more than 15 years and continue to gain in popularity. About three of every 10 employees now have HSAs.

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FSA vs. HSA: What You Need to Know

In addition to your health insurance premiums, your employer may offer an FSA or HSA to help offset your out-of-pocket costs. There are some key differences between these two options you should know about.

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Consumer-Driven Health Care

1 in 6 ER Visits or Hospital Stays Triggers ‘Surprise’ Bill

Roughly one in every six times someone is taken to an emergency room or checks in to the hospital, the treatment is followed by a “surprise” medical bill, according to a study released June 20. And depending on where you live, the odds can be much higher.

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Florida ‘Patient Savings Act’ Adds Financial Incentive to Transparency Tools

When it comes to “shoppable” healthcare prices, transparency is a fine tool. But when transparency translates into value, then it’s not just a fine tool, but one that will be used. An incentive that rewards consumers with rebates if they find lower costs for services and medications offered on the state’s transparency website is what makes Florida’s new Patient Savings Act a landmark innovation.

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This Surgeon Wants to Offer Cheap MRIs. A State Law Is Getting in His Way.

Dr. Gajendra Singh decided he would open his own imaging center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and post his prices, as low as $500 for an MRI, on a banner outside the office building and on his website. There was just one barrier to fully realizing his vision: North Carolina's “certificate of need” law, which prohibited him from buying a permanent MRI machine.

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Amazon Looking to Work Directly With Health Plans and Employers to Sell Prescription Drugs, Court Documents Say

Amazon is seeking to contract directly with health plans and employers to sell prescription drugs through its PillPack subsidiary, a move that would cut out existing pharmacy benefit managers and potentially reshape the sale and distribution of medicines in the U.S., according to newly surfaced court documents.

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What Is an HDHP?

Whether looking for a health insurance plan via your employer or the government marketplace, your decision on what plan to go with will involve both what you can afford and what you choose to spend on. What exactly is an HDHP, how does it work and is it worth it as a insurance option?

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Bryan CaplanComment