HSA News for July 15, 2019

Here is the latest HSA news compiled by Mr. HSA, Roy Ramthun.

News from Washington

Congress Has Ambitious Agenda Tackling Health Care Costs

Returning from their Fourth of July recess, the Senate and House are pushing to end surprise medical bills, curb high prices for medicines, and limit prescription copays for people with Medicare. Partisan disagreements could derail the effort, but lawmakers fear the voters' verdict in 2020 if politicians have nothing to show for all their hand-wringing about drug prices.

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Judge Strikes Down Trump Administration Rule Requiring Drug Prices in TV Ads

A federal judge dealt a blow to the Trump administration on July 8 by striking down a new rule that would have forced pharmaceutical companies to include the wholesale prices of their drugs in television advertising.

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Appeals Court Seems Skeptical About Constitutionality of Obamacare Mandate

A panel of federal appeals court judges sounded likely to uphold a lower-court ruling that a central provision of the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. But it was harder to discern how the court might come down on a much bigger question: whether the rest of the sprawling health law must fall if the insurance mandate does.

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Republicans Make U-Turn on Health Care

Senate Republicans are reversing course and now taking a hard look at health care legislation to replace Obamacare in case the courts strike it down. There’s a sense of urgency among GOP lawmakers to come up with a plan to replace the most popular components of the ACA after a panel of appellate judges aggressively questioned whether the law passes legal muster.

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Biden Says He Would Bring Back Obamacare's Individual Mandate

Former Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview that aired June 5 on CNN that he would bring back Obamacare's individual mandate if he is elected president. The Republican tax bill, signed by President Trump in 2017, eliminated the mandate.

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GOP Freshman Congressman Unveils Plan to Help 'Change the Narrative' on Healthcare

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) has introduced legislation that would expand HSAs (renamed to "Health Freedom Accounts"). People could set aside up to $12,000 a year for an individual and use the funds to pay directly for drugs, catastrophic coverage, checkups, or other healthcare services.

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HSA Industry News

New HSA Platform from HSAgateway

HSAgateway has created an HSA platform to make it easier for both employers and workers to use HSAs. The platform guides an individual through their initial health care saving and spending decisions while helping to craft an investment approach designed to meet their unique needs.

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HSA Industry Best Practices

How HSAs Can Help Your Employees

Offering HSAs is a great way to provide health benefits, and can even be considered an employee retention strategy because, among other things, HSAs empower employees to take control of their finances, health and retirement.

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Using HSAs to Encourage Long-Term Savings: One Company's Success

How do you get to the point where you can move 88 percent of people into an HSA-eligible plan and get a portion of them investing and saving for their futures? It takes time. It also requires focused, tailored and ongoing education. Our clients’ HSA success stories all share consistent themes.

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The HSA Market

3 Easy Ways for Conservatives to Improve HSAs

How can President Trump and congressional Republicans build on their success and make HSAs even more attractive? I propose three big HSA reforms that, more than any other, would catapult HSAs to the next level, and would very likely result in HSAs becoming the dominant way working Americans receive their health insurance.

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HSA Education Needed Now

HSAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans can be combined to maximize tax-free and tax-deferred savings that can be used in both, the short term and the long term. However, fully understanding the HSA's benefits requires a strong and thorough HSA education.

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How Many Employers Could Be Affected by the High-Cost Plan Tax

When the Cadillac Tax takes effect in 2022, an estimated 21% of employers offering health benefits will have at least one plan whose premium and account contributions would exceed the tax threshold. When potential FSA contributions are included, the percentage climbs to 31%.

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HSAs & Retirement

How an HSA Can Boost Your Retirement Savings

For many people, HSAs offer a compelling mix of tax breaks and other savings that can keep their health insurance costs down. But under the right circumstances, these accounts offer an even more powerful—and largely underappreciated—chance to boost your long-term savings and provide a nest egg to offset the rising cost of health care later in life.

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Pairing HSAs and Retirement Benefits a Growing Strategy

Even though HSAs have been around for nearly 16 years, employers are still having a tough time getting employees to understand the vehicle’s triple tax benefit in saving dollars today for health care costs tomorrow. “The HSA sits in both worlds. The key is to communicate often and as simply as you can," says Mercedes Ikard, director of retirement planning at Atrium Health.

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Why Health Clients Need to Save More for Retirement

Healthy clients are likely to have higher medical costs in retirement than their less-healthy counterparts. Why? Because they are likely to live longer than average, and health-care costs tend to increase at the end of life.

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4 Underutilized Benefits to Help Your Employees Build Wealth

As I find myself in a position to make benefits decisions for our employees, I see that there are many other ways to build wealth, many of which begin with decisions made at the top. I encourage employers to consider a few lesser-known benefits, such as HSAs, to help employees start a nest egg and prepare for future costs.

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Maximizing Your HSA

Wise Ways to Grow, Use an HSA

Along with deducting your HSA contributions from your gross income each year, the funds you amass in your account do not go away…they are yours to keep even in retirement. Plus, as long as what you take out is considered a legitimate medical expense, you are not taxed on it then, either.

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Let Your HSA Grow

Many of us choose HSAs, along with HDHPs because we accept the trade-off. We suffer the potential high out-of-pocket medical costs in return for gaining access to an employer-subsidized HSA. The idea is that your employer and you put money aside in an account to cover health care expenses for your family. Then when you incur a big medical bill, you’ll pay your expenses from the HSA.

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A Millennial Asks—Is an HSA a Good Deal?

I’m starting my first job and wondering about the HSA option that comes with my benefits package. Is this really a good deal? The short answer to your questions is a resounding “yes,” an HSA can be a very good deal. This is especially true for someone like you who is just starting out. Here’s why.

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Moving From the Security of a PPO/HMO to an HSA-Qualified HDHP?

While employers still pay the majority of health care costs in the US, employees' individual share of the total costs continues to increase. Cost sharing consists of a few components and occurs across all insurance formats, including PPOs and HDHPs. In this post we will discuss a few of the major factors in deciding how to select one over the other.

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Consumer-Driven Health Care

Doctors Aren’t Much Better at Picking the Best Medical Treatments Than Laypersons

The authors of a new paper tested the theory behind “consumer-driven healthcare” by examining the behavior of the best-informed consumers of all: doctors. What they found was that doctors are better at picking high-value treatments and avoiding low-value care — but “not by much and not always.”

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With Rural Health Care Stretched Thin, More Patients Turn to Telehealth

Jill Hill is one of a growing number of Americans turning to telehealth appointments with medical providers in the wake of widespread hospital closings in remote communities, and a shortage of local primary care doctors, specialists and other providers.

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Steel Company Saves $5M on Health Benefits Through Reference-Based Pricing

When Pacific Steel & Recycling CFO Tim Culliton realized his 750 employees were paying too much for healthcare, he knew the company needed a new plan. So instead of renewing their current fully funded insurance plan, the company, fired their TPA and switched to a self-funded plan with a PPO network. They also decided to try reference-based pricing and were able to save about $5 million.

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Bryan CaplanComment