HSA News for September 3, 2019

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

News from Washington

Congress Likely to Take on Surprise Billing, Drug Pricing After Break

Drug pricing and surprise billing are two likely healthcare agenda items when Congress returns next week from its August recess, health policy experts said on August 28. Much of the congressional schedule, however, will be driven by the need to approve funding bills by the end of September to keep the government open.

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Poll: Dems More Likely to Support Candidate Who Backs Medicare for All Over Fixing Obamacare

As the Democratic presidential field continues to grapple with plans to address health care, a significant majority of Democratic voters are more likely to back a 2020 primary candidate who supports “Medicare for All” than building on the Affordable Care Act, a new poll found.

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HSA Studies & Analysis

HSA Assets Surpass $60 Billion, Growth Expected to Continue

The number of HSAs has exceeded 26 million with assets that top off at $61.7 billion halfway through the year, according to the latest research from Devenir. This accounts for a year-over-year increase of 12 percent for accounts and 20 percent for assets, according to the report.

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HSA Compliance Corner

Plans May Exclude Value of Drug Manufacturers’ Coupons Until Further Notice

On August 26, the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and HHS issued new guidance to delay enforcement of a recent rule related to drug manufacturer coupons. The new rule has led to stakeholder confusion and conflicting federal requirements related to HSA-qualified plans. HHS will further clarify this policy in a forthcoming regulation for the 2021 plan year.

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HSA Industry News

HealthEquity Completes Acquisition of WageWorks

HealthEquity completed its acquisition of WageWorks on August 30 to become a leading administrator of HSAs and complementary consumer-directed benefits. HealthEquity also announced details of a $80-100 million investment in service.

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HSAs & Retirement

Here’s What You Should Know About Medicare Costs if You’re Nearing Age 65

After paying into Medicare through payroll withholding for many years, you might think your coverage will be free once you turn 65. You’d be wrong. This makes figuring out your Medicare coverage a key part of managing your expenses. Here’s what you need to know.

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Can HSAs Flip the Script on Retirement Health Care Expenses?

When you compare the average medical expenses in retirement to what the average 65-year-old couple has saved for retirement, you realize the issue at hand. The script on HSAs needs to be flipped to help tackle the tremendous health care costs many Americans will face in retirement.

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HSA Investing When You're Over 65

What are my investment options after age 65 with the remaining balance in my HSA? As with your retirement accounts, you’ll generally want to shift toward a less-aggressive portfolio as you age to match your risk tolerance. That means decreasing the percentage you hold in stocks and increasing your cash and bond holdings.

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Maximizing Your HSA

HSAs: Moving From Spending to Saving to Strategizing

To combat the possibility that employees will delay care until they can afford it, employers should contribute to their HSAs. Another strategy is to get employees to stop thinking about the health care they need now and starting thinking more long-term--particularly about their health care costs in retirement.

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Family HSA Plan, Family Contribution. Period.

Did you know that you can contribute to the family maximum in your HSA, even if you’re the only person covered on a family plan who’s HSA-eligible? And you still have plenty of time to make your 2019 contribution.

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Consumer-Driven Health Care

They Got Estimates Before Surgery — the Bill After That Was 50% More

It is a good idea to get an estimate in advance for health care if your condition is not an emergency. But it is important to know that an estimate can be way off — and your provider probably is not legally required to honor it. Try to request an estimate that is “all-in” — including the entire set of services associated with your procedure or admission.

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Doctors Don’t Always Know What Patients Will Owe for Meds

While the price of almost any good or service can be found online, most Americans don’t know what they’ll owe for a prescription medication until they get it. Unexpected costs contribute to the estimated 20 to 30 percent of prescriptions that are never filled, which can lead to health problems from untreated medical conditions.

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Another Plus for HDHPs

This summer, the IRS added 14 treatments and services for a range of chronic health conditions to the list of items that insurers may provide as preventive-care benefits under HSA-qualified plans. People with the named conditions may now be able to receive certain treatments at no cost or at a lower cost, depending on their insurance plan or employer.

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Bryan CaplanComment