House lawmakers introduced late Thursday the Bipartisan HSA Improvement Act, legislation designed to expand the types of services covered under health savings accounts without being subject to a deductible.
Introduced by Reps. Mike Kelly, R-Pa.; Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Erik Paulsen, R-Minn.; and Ron Kind, D-Wis., the bill seeks to give employers and plans the ability to cover chronic disease prevention before a patient has met his or her deductible.
American Benefits Council President James Klein said the legislation provided “needed flexibility for HSAs to help employees lead healthier lives, which will help reduce health care spending.”
Workplace-based health insurance “covers more than 178 million people nationwide, compelling employers to be innovative in managing rising health care costs,” Klein said.
HSAs allow workers to set aside money on a pretax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses.
The act will not only give employers more flexibility in HSA-based plan design, “it will also allow HSAs to take full advantage of cost-saving innovations like chronic care management and onsite and near-site health centers,” Klein said.
The act also includes provisions recommended in the Council’s 2015 report, Magnifying A 2020 Vision: A Closer Look at Selected Proposals to Strengthen Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, including provisions to:
- Clarify that certain services and prescription drugs that prevent chronic disease progression are preventive care that will not be subject to a deductible.
- Allow employers to provide primary care, chronic disease prevention, and other high-value services at on-site and near-site medical clinics without imposing a deductible.
- Permit the use of HSA funds to pay for medical expenses for adult children up to age 26.
- Permit HSA contributions if a spouse has a health Flexible Spending Account.
Klein added that the BPC looks forward to working with the lawmakers as they push to include the bill in the omnibus spending measure to be considered in the next few weeks.