January 28, 2019
Your Weekly HSA News
Read the latest news about Health Savings Accounts and consumer-driven health care.
News from Washington
Shutdown Ends Without Funding for Border Wall
President Trump signed a three-week funding bill on Friday night, formally bringing an end to the partial government shutdown without securing money for a border wall.

Trump to Delay State of the Union Until After Shutdown
President Trump said late January 23 that he would deliver his State of the Union address after the ongoing partial government shutdown is over.

Trump Calls for Cracking Down on Surprise Medical Bills
President Trump spoke out on January 23 against surprise medical bills that patients often cannot afford, highlighting an issue that has received bipartisan concern in Congress. “We're going to stop all of it, and it's very important to me,” Trump added.

Legislators Look to Slash ACA Cadillac Tax
House lawmakers introduced legislation this week in a new attempt to repeal the Cadillac tax. Bipartisan support for killing the excise tax has grown over the years since the Affordable Care Act’s passage. Employer groups, in particular, have been calling for its repeal.

HSA Compliance Corner
IRS Releases 2018 Form 8889 and Instructions for HSA Reporting
The IRS has released the 2018 version of Form 8889 and its instructions. The 2018 versions of the form and instructions are largely unchanged from the 2017 versions, but they have been updated to reflect the 2018 HSA contribution limits and filing deadline (April 15, 2019).

IRS Issues 2018 Version of Publication 502 (Medical and Dental Expenses)
The IRS has released the latest version of Publication 502 for use in preparing 2018 tax returns. Publication 502 describes the medical expenses that taxpayers may deduct on their 2018 federal income tax returns. The 2018 version is substantially similar to its 2017 counterpart.

HSAs and Gym Memberships
Congratulations. We’re two weeks into the new year and you’ve kept your resolution to work out at the gym regularly. That’s great. You’ll reap physical benefits. But don’t try to reimburse your membership fees from your HSA.

HSA Industry News
Voya Launches Suite of HSAs
The popularity (and awareness) of the benefits HSAs bring got a boost January 24 with Voya Financial’s announcement that it’s launched a new suite of health savings and spending account solutions. The suite will initially include HSAs, health FSAs, and limited purpose health FSAs, among others.

HSA Bank Reports Strong Account and Revenue Growth
HSA Bank generated $60 million in operating revenue during the quarter on $5.7 billion in deposits, up from $47 million in operating revenue on $5 billion in deposits in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The HSA Market
One Southern Indiana Introduces Association Health Plan for Members
A new health insurance plan aims to expand affordable benefit options for a wide range of Southern Indiana businesses, from individual entrepreneurs to large corporations. Employers can choose from six PPO health insurance options, two HSA plans and wellness benefits such as screenings and flu shots.

Benefits Brokers Need to Evolve to Survive, Expert Says
Dave Chase, co-founder of Health Rosetta, predicts 2019 will be marked by a backlash against high deductibles as consumers fear accessing health care because of rising out-of-pocket costs. HDHPs are going the way of corporate wellness programs and disease management programs, Chase says. One reason is a blame-the-victim thinking in these plans.

HSAs & Retirement
Your IRA Can Help Fund Your HSA
HSAs are perhaps the best retirement planning tool available. Most people aren’t aware that if you’re looking for cash to fully fund the year’s HSA contribution, a transfer from an IRA might do the job.

Other Uses for HSAs
One of the most important retirement planning considerations is providing the means to pay for medical expenses, since healthcare expenses can rapidly deplete one’s retirement savings. If you fund an HSA every year you are able and you don’t use the funds for current medical expenses, you can accumulate a significant amount that can help defray future medical costs.

Maximizing Your HSA
If you have an HSA attached to your HDHP, you likely know that you can use it to get reimbursed throughout the year for medical expenses. But HSAs have another benefit: There’s no time limit on getting reimbursed. As long as you had the HSA open when you accrued a medical bill, you can get reimbursed for the cost—even years after the fact.

Many Americans are familiar with and have participated in a Health FSA during the last three decades. Employees can give themselves a raise by projecting their qualified medical, dental, and vision expenses fairly accurately and electing to have that amount deducted from their pay on a pre-tax basis to fund a Health FSA. Ditto for an HSA. So, which account is better?

Consumer-Driven Health Care
Donald Trump Did Something Right
Starting this month, hospitals must publicly reveal the contents of their master price lists online. For the moment, these lists won’t seem very useful to the average patient — and they have been criticized for that reason. But don’t dismiss the lists as useless. Think of them as raw material to be mined for billing transparency and patient rights.

Secretive ‘Rebate Trap’ Keeps Generic Drugs for Diabetes and Other Ills Out of Reach
In a practice that policy experts say smothers competition and keeps prices high, drug companies routinely make hidden pacts with middlemen that effectively block patients from getting cheaper generic medicines.

You Can Now Buy an Actual Hospital Room on Amazon
You can buy almost everything on Amazon. And that includes, as of January 24, a "smart" hospital room in a box. EIR Healthcare is now selling units of its hospital room, dubbed MedModular, for $814 a square foot on Amazon.com. The design is customizable but all the rooms come with a bathroom and a bed.

Higher Deductibles Giving Patients Sticker Shock as Policies Reset for New Year
Rising deductibles have patients dealing with sticker shock as their health care policies reset for the new year. More than half of covered workers had a policy that included a $1,000 deductible in 2018. That's up from 38 percent in 2013.

Getting the Diabetes Care You Need on a High-Deductible Plan
Experts say it’s important to carefully consider how a plan might cover diabetes care, and not just what it costs for the insurance, before making a decision. For those with diabetes who are on a high-deductible plan, here’s what else experts recommend to get the care you need.

Cancer Survivors Face Significant Hardships Related to Medical Bills
Cancer survivors carry greater financial burdens related to medical debt payments and bills compared to those without a cancer history, new research has found. Among privately insured survivors, those who enrolled in HDHPs and did not have HSAs were particularly vulnerable to medical financial hardship.

Connect with us
Our goal is to provide you with easy to understand information and resources about HSAs. We will help you learn how to best use your account to meet your particular health care and financial needs. We’ll also help you find out what medical expenses can be paid from your HSA and how to choose the best HSA to meet your financial goals.

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