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HSA Legislative Updates

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Gold-Standard HSA Legislation - 113th Congress

This legislation will be reintroduced in the 114th Congress, with some additional provisions added. The information below is for the 113th Congress bill.

HSAs for Veterans

In 2014 Congress passed legislation creating the “Veteran’s Choice Card,” a $10 billion, three-year program to allow veterans to go outside the VA system to get the care they need – if they have been on a waiting list longer than 30 days and/or live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA facility. The HSA Council is currently working with the VA on a pilot program where veterans who qualify for the Veteran’s Choice Card program can choose to receive their benefits in an HSA.

ABLE Accounts

The HSA Council advocated for enactment of the Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (ABLE Act), which President Obama signed into law on December 19, 2014. This act created tax-preferred savings accounts -- similar to an HSA -- that will allow disabled people and their families to save for their care without sacrificing eligibility for disability benefits. The legislation was modeled after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which authorizes the use of Qualified Tuition Programs for qualified higher education expenses, commonly referred to as 529 Plans.
 
Treasury is developing regulations to guide states on information required to open an ABLE account, the documentation needed to prove ABLE account eligibility, details of qualified disability expenses and tax reporting documentation. No accounts can be established until the regulations are drafted and public comments are considered, but it is appropriate for states to consider legislation authorizing creating ABLE accounts. States will need to pass laws authorizing a state agency to establish an ABLE program. Once authorized, the state agency will likely promulgate rules detailing how the ABLE program will operate.

HSAs & Health Care Reform

HSAs have a roll in healthcare reform. Not only are HSA-qualified plans offered on the Exchanges, but HSA growth has accelerated under the ACA. HSAs are also a key component to Republican-supported healthcare reform. 

  • The IRS released Notice 2015-16, which provides some insight into how the agency will interpret the statutory language imposing the Cadillac Tax on high-cost employer-sponsored plans. The IRS has said that the total dollars spent by an employer – premium and contributions to the HSA, even if those contributions are from the employee and merely facilitated by the employer – are counted towards the threshold for the excise tax. The HSA Council is examining options for a legislative fix to this treatment of HSA funds. 
  • During a May 8th HELP Committee Hearing, Ranking member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) outlined the Republican proposals to reduce health care costs and increase consumer choice, including the expanded use of HSAs. Learn more from Sen. Alexander.
  • During the May 23rd show, Dr. Carson named HSAs as a way to fix government bureaucracy in health care and empower the individual to make their own health care choices. Watch the clip.

      Read more on HSAs and the Affordable Care Act.

 

The HSA Council is dedicated to advancing policies that preserve and expand banks’ ability to offer Health Savings Accounts. Its members include financial institutions, insurers and their technology partners.

 

Questions? Please contact Kevin McKechnie for more information.