(LISTEN, Physician SPOTLIGHT) “I can do more in one house call than I could ever do sitting in a box at a clinic, being told I have to see patients every 10 minutes.” ~Dr. E.B.
Health savings account contribution caps up $50 for self-only and $100 for family coverage
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H.R. 6311 – “Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018”
H.R. 6311 also expands HSAs in several important ways. First, the bill will allow working seniors enrolled in Medicare part A to continue to contribute to their HSA. Eligibility for an HSA will also be expanded to those who are enrolled in bronze and catastrophic Obamacare health plans. Finally, the legislation pauses the Obamacare health insurance tax for 2020 and 2021. This destructive tax is imposed on health insurance premiums and impacts 11 million households that purchase through the individual insurance market, 23 million households covered through their employer, and 1.7 million small businesses. The health insurance tax is estimated to increase premiums by as much as 3 percent and could increase premiums by an average of $5,000 over a ten year period, according to the American Action Forum. Source: ATFR (Americans for Tax Reform; November 2018; https://www.atr.org/key-vote-atr-urges-yes-vote-legislation-expands-hsas-offer-relief-obamacare-taxes)
H.R. 6199 – “Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018”
The Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act contains a number of bipartisan proposals designed to expand the ability of HSAs to be used on medical expenses. Most notably, the legislation will end the Obamacare restriction on purchasing over-the-counter-medications. Under current law, individuals may not purchase these medications without a prescription, a needless requirement that restricts access to medicines. H.R. 6199 also expands HSAs so they can be used on certain sports and fitness expenses of up to $500 for an individual and $1,000 for a family. The bill also offers employers flexibility to offer free or discounted medical services at on-site or retail medical clinics without disqualifying an enrollee from an HSA and allows HSAs to be used for direct primary care up to a limit of $150 per month for an individual and $300 per month for a family.
The Primary Care Enhancement Act, a bipartisan bill by Rep. Eric Paulsen (R-MN) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), passed the House Ways & Means committee by a roll call vote of 26-12 on Wednesday, July 11th. There were also 10 other pieces of tax/health legislation considered. The markup is the first step in passing the Primary Care Enhancement Act and as usual, there have been some compromises to the bill to keep the score down. The language has been reintroduced as H.R. 6317, and contains a $150 per member per month ($300 for family plans) limitation to keep the pre-tax amount down. While not perfect this will allow almost all DPC practices to see patients with HSAs and allow their fees to be paid from the HSA. These changes were added to the bill to bring the revenue score down, and even with them the Joint Committee on Tax has scored the package at a cost of $1.8 billion over ten years. We will continue to work on perfecting the language as the process moves forward but this is a huge first step and we are excited about its momentum! Source: ATFR (Americans for Tax Reform; November 2018; https://www.atr.org/key-vote-atr-urges-yes-vote-legislation-expands-hsas-offer-relief-obamacare-taxes)