February 11, 2019
Your Weekly HSA News
Read the latest news about Health Savings Accounts and consumer-driven health care.
News from Washington
Bipartisan Group of Senators Asks Industry for Information on Surprise Medical Bills
A bipartisan group of senators is asking industry groups for information as they plan legislation to prevent patients from getting massive, unexpected medical bills. The lawmakers sent letters to a variety of insurers and medical providers asking detailed questions about data on their billing and payment procedures.

Judge Shelves Suit to Declare ACA Constitutional
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh's lawsuit seeking to have the Affordable Care Act declared constitutional cannot go forward unless the Trump administration fails to enforce the healthcare law, a federal judge ruled February 1.

Poll: Just 13 Percent Want 'Medicare for All' if It Means End of Private Insurance
A new poll finds that about only one in 10 registered voters want the equivalent of Medicare for all if it means abolishing private health insurance plans.

Border Talks Stall as Another Shutdown Looms
The president, congressional negotiators and other lawmakers are sending conflicting signals about whether a deal to fund border security and avoid another government shutdown is possible before a Friday deadline.

Lawmakers Divided Over How to End Shutdowns for Good
Bipartisan efforts to end shutdowns for good are losing momentum due to a lack of consensus over the right strategy. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have rallied around the idea of automatically funding the government if Congress misses a spending deadline, but the biggest problem may be that it is too popular.

HSA Studies & Analysis
Consumers Aren't Using HSAs for Long-Term Savings Strategy, Study Finds
A new study found that consumers are spending almost all of their HSA fund) on routine healthcare and leaving little in their accounts for hospitalizations and emergency room visits. The study said consumers don't "achieve the long-term benefits" of HSAs, but instead spend the savings before their retirement years.

An HSA ‘Call to Arms’
The Plan Sponsor Council of America has opened its first annual HSA benchmarking survey so it can better understand how HSA programs are designed and administered. The survey is designed to benchmark plan sponsors’ use of HSA plans and measure their perceptions of HSAs as a retirement savings vehicle. The deadline for participation is March 8.

Do HSAs Help Low-Income Americans?
HSAs help owners across the income spectrum pay their bills. For even the poorest Americans, receiving a discount of 25% or so on a medical bill is better than receiving no discount. It’s no panacea, but it eases the financial strain.

PBMI Research Shows Employers Offer HDHPs with Good Intentions but Concerns Exist
According to the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute’s recently released 2018 Trends in Drug Benefit Design report, the top challenges identified by employers with HDHPs are that medications are not affordable to members before the deductible is met and that members do not understand how deductibles work.

HSA Compliance Corner
IRS Clarifies Ability of Employers to Recover Mistaken HSA Contributions
Tthe IRS Office of the Chief Counsel released an information letter clarifying the ability of employers to recover mistaken HSA contributions. Information Letter 2018-0033 states that the situations set forth in IRS Notice 2008-59 were not intended to be an exclusive list.

HSA Industry News
Cetera Makes Advice Available for HSAs
Cetera announced it is expanding its retirement plan advice and consulting platform to offer advice to HSA plans and other non-ERISA employer-sponsored plans.

Industry Best Practices
5 Ways to Get Your Employees Excited About HSAs
Electing the HSA-qualified plan is just the beginning. Many employers find it challenging to educate employees on the benefits of having an HSA. Here are a few tips to help employees use their HSA to the fullest.

8 HSA Headaches -- and Their Solutions
HSAs offer employers and their employees access to a great savings vehicle. However, we find that they continue to be widely misunderstood. Here are eight pain points and how to approach them, to use now or at your next open enrollment.

The HSA Market
Why HDHPs Are Trending at Colleges and Universities
Sibson Consulting's most recent College and University Benefits Study found that the percentage of institutions that offer HDHPs to their faculty and staff has grown explosively over two years from 59% in 2015 to 72% in 2017. Colleges are also far more likely to offer their employees HSAs with their HDHP.

Employers Offer HDHPs, but Workers Are Cautious About Them
Are HDHPs and HSAs, two recent darlings of the health insurance world, about to lose some of their luster? Early signs of that may be surfacing, even as a recent Pittsburgh Business Group on Health survey shows more major employers in the region are offering the plans.

HSAs & Retirement
This Retirement Account Can Be Better Than a 401(k) and an IRA
If you're saving for retirement, both 401(k)s and IRAs provide opportunities to invest long-term for retirement and offer tax benefits to help your investments to grow. But there's a lesser-known retirement account that can be an even better option than 401(k) plans and IRAs: an HSA.

Medicare-Eligible Employees Pose HR Challenges
If employers have not already fielded questions about Medicare enrollment penalties, whether Medicare or the employer plan is the primary or secondary payer of health claims, and how Medicare eligibility impacts HSAs, they likely will in the future.

Maximizing Your HSA
Tap an IRA Tax-Free With an HSA Rollover
I’m going to have knee surgery in a few months, and I’d like to roll over money from my traditional IRA to my HSA so I can take the withdrawal tax-free. How much can I roll over, and what are the rules? You can make a one-time rollover from your IRA to the HSA, as long as you have an HSA-eligible insurance policy.

HSA Investments
A still-small but growing number of HSA owners use their accounts strategically to build what I refer to as medical equity. These people aren't all that different from you. They do, however, have some distinct characteristics that move them in the direction of using their HSAs to build their medical equity.

7 Best Investments to Make With Your HSA
An HSA is one way for individuals to save for their retirement and medical expenses with tax-free contributions. HSAs are attractive because of the tax incentives. But some HSA investment options include high fees. Here are seven funds that could be a good asset to add to an HSA.

Consumer-Driven Health Care
Hospital Price Growth Driving Healthcare Spending
Hospital prices are the main driver of U.S. healthcare spending inflation, and that trend should direct any policy changes going forward, according to a new study. For inpatient care, hospital prices grew 42% from 2007 to 2014 while physician prices rose 18%. Similarly, for hospital-based outpatient care, hospital prices increased 25% while physician prices grew 6%.

Report: Hospitals Pushed Costs to Privately Insured Patients
According to a new state report, Colorado hospitals charged higher and higher percentages to people with private insurance, even as their revenues grew and the number of people without insurance they were treating fell. In 2017, hospitals charged privately insured patients $1.2 billion more than was needed to cover losses from treating Medicare and Medicaid patients, according to the report.

Hospital Develops Package Prices to Lure Cash-Paying Patients
Nearly a decade ago, leaders at Pomerene Memorial Hospital in Millersburg, Ohio, realized they needed to do things differently to better serve the large Amish and Anabaptist community in their county. The Amish and other Anabaptists do not carry commercial health insurance; they prefer to pay in cash.

New Voices at Patients’ Bedsides: Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple
At first it was a novelty: Hospitals began using voice assistants to allow patients to order lunch, check medication regimens, and get on-demand medical advice at home. But these devices, manufactured by Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and others, are now making deeper inroads into patient care.

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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