The relatively unknown one-time IRA to HSA transfer rule allows an individual to transfer some of his or her tax-deferred IRA dollars to a high-deductible savings account. If prepared properly, those tax-deferred dollars that would be taxable upon withdrawal in the future can be turned into tax-free dollars if withdrawn from an HSA for qualified medical expenses. The caveat? Only those that are eligible for a high-deductible health care plan can participate.
PPACA Expected to Test Patient Loyalty to Physicians
HealthPocket asked 713 consumers if they would be willing to change physicians if it meant saving money on insurance premiums and how much money they would need to save annually to make that switch. Thirty-four percent thought keeping down out-of-pocket insurance costs was more important. More than half of those willing to make a switch “would do so for the lowest savings amount presented by the survey, $500 to $1,000 annually.” The results show that some people “are surprisingly open to moving around based on cost,” said Steve Zaleznick, HealthPocket's executive director.
With health care reforms taking root, employers increasingly are turning to medical discount cards as a way to boost benefits and employee spirits without hurting their bottom lines. Today's discount medical cards cover a range of services including vision, dental, chiropractic care and even 24/7 telemedicine. “With health care benefits going up, there aren’t a whole lot of benefits that we can offer employees. But this is something that isn’t too costly," says Craig Litman, co-owner and chief financial officer of Texas Recycling in Dallas.
Employees Opening Health Savings Accounts in Record Numbers
The market for health savings accounts is booming, experts say, as the high-deductible plans that they are designed to fund grow in popularity among employers. And as more employers make HDHPs their sole health benefit option, HSAs will continue to grow. According to the 2013 Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health employer survey, the number of companies offering an account-based plan as their only option rose from 9 percent in 2012 to 12 percent this year, a figure that is expected to double in 2014.
Health Savings Accounts Continue to Grow in Popularity
New research from the Employment Benefits Research Institute shows health savings accounts, a key part of consumer driven health plans, continue to grow in popularity despite President Obama’s efforts to discourage their use via his health care law. According to Roy Ramthun, president of HSA Consulting Services, this growth will continue despite those obstacles, as long as CDHPs can be priced competitively.