Wednesday July 27, 2016

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Consumer-Driven Health News

Health Reimbursement Arrangements Win House Approval

Small businesses that don’t offer health insurance could reimburse their employees for health care costs without being penalized by the government under legislation passed by the House on June 21. The bill would allow small businesses to provide HRAs to their employees to help them buy insurance on their own and cover out-of-pocket costs. In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service ruled that HRAs don’t meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act and threatened to fine employers that provide this benefit.

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Obama Would Veto Bill Allosing Use of HSAs to Purchase Over-the-Counter Drugs

President Barack Obama says he will veto a bill allowing purchases of over-the-counter medications from health savings accounts. Under current law, drug expenses are eligible only if prescribed by a physician. H.R. 1270, which has yet to pass committee but has bipartisan support, would repeal a section of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits consumers from using the funds in their HSAs, FSAs or HRAs to purchase OTC medications such as aspirin or cold medicine.

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White House Blasts HSA Health Limits Package

The Obama administration is opposing an effort to increase the HSA deduction limit along with two other health measures bundled with it in H.R. 1270. House GOP leaders plan to bring the bill to the House floor June 23. Officials at the White House Office of Management and Budget said in a statement that President Obama strongly opposes the package.

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6 FAQs About HSAs and Same-Sex Marriages

Navigating health savings accounts and high-deductible health plans is complicated enough, but after the Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015 recognized same-sex marriages, employers and employees found the rules remained complex. To help you learn more about HSAs and how the 2015 ruling affects them, here are some important FAQs to start your research.

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5 Fees That Could Be Cutting into Your Investment Returns

Health savings accounts carry extraordinary tax benefits, but because they haven't yet enjoyed widespread adoption or gotten much scrutiny, the playing field for HSA providers is nowhere near as competitive as is the case for, say, IRA providers. The net effect: layers upon layers of fees. Many HSAs carry setup fees, transaction fees when tapping the account for healthcare expenses (including when you use the debit card), transaction fees for getting the money invested, and annual account fees.

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