HSA News for August 19, 2019

HSA news is compiled weekly by Mr. HSA, Roy Ramthun.

News from Washington

Trump Health Official: Controversial Drug Pricing Move Is 'Top Priority'

CMS Administrator Seema Verma told reporters on August 15 that the Trump administration is pushing forward with a controversial proposal to lower certain drug prices in Medicare by tying them to lower prices in other countries, known as the International Price Index, calling it a “top priority,” despite opposition from some fellow Republicans.

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'Cadillac Tax' on Generous Health Plans May Be Headed for Repeal

The Cadillac tax is a 40% tax on the most generous employer-provided health insurance plans. It was supposed to take effect in 2018, but Congress has delayed implementation twice. The House recently voted overwhelmingly to repeal that part of the ACA entirely. A Senate companion bill is bipartisan and now has a total of 61 co-sponsors — more than enough to ensure passage.

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HSA Studies & Analysis

Enrollment of Large-Company Workers in HDHPs Reaches a Historic High

The share of covered workers enrolled in HDHPs at large employers reached 47% in 2019. HDHP enrollment increased from 35% of such workers in 2018 and 28% in 2017, according to annual tracking survey data from the National Business Group on Health.

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The HSA Market

Fewer Large, Self-Insured Employers Offering Only HDHPs Next Year

For the second straight year, the percentage of large companies offering only an HDHP with an attached savings account is projected to decrease to a quarter of employers in 2020, down from 30% in 2019 and 39% in 2018, according to the National Business Group on Health's annual survey.

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Employers Expect to Spend $15,375 Per Employee on Health Care in 2020

Corporations are amping up their initiatives to take a bite out of rising health care benefit costs, according to the National Business Group on Health. For 2020, the total cost of health care for employees and dependents is projected to rise to an average of $15,375, with large employers covering nearly 70 percent of the cost while employees will bear about 30 percent, or nearly $4,500.

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Big Companies Explore Virtual Care to Curb Healthcare Costs

Big companies are increasing incorporating virtual technology and care options into employee benefit plans to combat the rising healthcare costs that long been corporate America’s bugaboo, according to the annual survey of the National Business Group on Health.

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HSAs & Retirement

This Retirement Expense Could Cost You $335,000

Retirement is incredibly expensive, and most workers aren't nearly prepared enough to cover all the costs. The average worker expects to need around $1.7 million to make it through retirement. But there's one cost many workers don't consider when planning for retirement, and it comes with a hefty price tag: Healthcare.

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Women Are More Likely to Struggle in Retirement Than Men, Survey Shows

Although saving for the future is a challenge for millions of workers, there's one group of people in particular who are facing greater retirement risks: Women. Retirement aside, women generally face more financial obstacles than men. On average, women earn around 19% less than men, and they often have to pay more than men for the same products -- also known as the "pink tax."

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Dropping Medicare for Employer Health Coverage May Trip You Up

If you are going back to work and your employer’s health-care plan qualifies as acceptable primary coverage, you are permitted to drop Medicare and re-enroll down the road. Just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should.

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The Perils of Turning Age 65

You’re still working and still enrolled on the group medical plan. But your employer’s contribution to your HSA has stopped, and you can’t make additional contributions to reduce your taxable income and boost your HSA balance. What happened? HSAs and Medicare don’t mix.

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A Senior Opportunity

Some critics are focused on what a new piece of proposed legislation takes away from HSA owners. They shouldn't be. This legislation offers new opportunities to three groups of people: (1) working seniors who are collecting Social Security benefits; (2) seniors who are employed at small companies; and (3) all other Medicare enrollees, who on average pay nearly $8,000 annually out-of-pocket.

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Why These Unique Medicare Advantage Plans Are Poised for Popularity

Medicare medical savings accounts (MSAs) are unique Medicare Advantage plans that nearly no one has, yet are poised to become more popular, thanks primarily to the rise of high-deductible employer insurance plans. Only four insurers even sell MSAs and they are available in fewer than 20 states.

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Maximizing Your HSA

Breaking Down the Basics of HSAs

Many Americans are missing out on the valuable tax planning, savings and investment option known as HSAs. The lack of knowledge leads to people underutilizing or improperly using them. With so many misunderstandings and suboptimal use around HSAs, we need to learn when and how they can be optimized.

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Your HSA Comes With a Whole Lot More Buying Power Than You Think

You can use your HSA money for a lot more than emergency room visits. We’re talking everything from sunscreen and contact lens solution to baby monitors and wheelchairs. You can also use it for flu shots, drug prescriptions and even over-the-counter medicine like Sudafed.

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5 Things You Need to Know About HSAs

Many working Americans and retirees alike are grappling with costly medical bills. If that sounds like you, then it pays to learn more about HSAs. These accounts let you save and invest money that can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses, like doctor visits, prescriptions, and medical equipment. Here are five important things you need to know about them.

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What Happens to My HSA if I Move to my Spouse’s Health Insurance Plan?

Nothing, as the money you’ve accumulated remains right where you left it until you either (a) use it, or (b) roll it to another HSA custodian. Recall the dollars contributed to an HSA are like any other consumer-owned savings account, which a few extra tax advantages. This also means the account will not be closed unless you elect to close it.

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Consumer-Driven Health Care

Consumers Still Confused by Health Care Shopping, Billing Practices

A new study shows that nearly 90 percent of consumers are not price-shopping before routine health care visits. The results suggest that most patients are either not willing or not able to shop for health care the way they shop for other services.

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Study: 4 in 10 Patients Faced Surprise Bills in 2016 After Visiting In-Network Hospitals

Four in 10 privately insured patients faced surprise medical bills after visiting emergency rooms or getting admitted to hospitals in 2016, according to a new study. The average price tag for a surprise bill related to care at an emergency department was $628 in 2016, up from $220 in 2010. The average surprise bill for inpatient admissions increased from $804 in 2010 to $2,040 in 2016.

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Survey: Millennials Avoid Going to the Doctor, Use Internet for Medical Advice

A survey released by Harmony Healthcare shows that nearly half of millennials have avoided seeing a doctor for a healthcare issue, and that one in four haven't had a physical for more than five years. The survey shows that 73 percent of millennials search for medical advice online rather than going to a doctor, choosing to get advice from sites such as WebMD, Youtube and Reddit.

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Almost 50% of Americans Are Making This Healthcare Mistake

Nearly half of Americans aren't seeking preventive care. In fact, only 54% of U.S adults visit a doctor for that purpose according to a recent report. Meanwhile, 28% of Americans only visit a medical office when they're actually sick, and 18% only go when the issue at hand is truly catastrophic.

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A Mexican Hospital, an American Surgeon, and a $5,000 Check

The hospital costs of the American medical system are so high that it made financial sense for both a highly trained orthopedist from Milwaukee and a patient from Mississippi to leave the country and meet at an upscale private Mexican hospital for the surgery.

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Bryan CaplanComment