Health Savings Act of 2017 Introduced to Senate and House of Representatives

February 9th, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, along with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), introduced the Health Savings Act of 2017 (S.403), and Rep. Eric Paulsen (R-3rd MN) introduced companion legislation that has yet to be assigned. Like HSA legislation introduced by Sen. Hatch and Rep. Paulsen in previous Congresses, the bill includes top legislative priorities of the HSA industry.

What’s included in the bill

Like previous versions of the bill, this legislation aims to expand HSAs and apply administrative fixes that make them more user-friendly. Simple fixes to HSA accessibility, such as expanded availability to those receiving care under Indian Health Services, will enable more Americans to have the option of an HSA. Expanding HSA operability, such as increasing contribution limits up to the annual maximum out-of-pocket limit and allowing spouses to make catch-up contributions to the same account, make HSAs easier to use and understand.

What’s missing

Unlike previous legislation, this version does not contain the provision to exempt employee FSA and HSA contributions from the Cadillac Tax calculation. The provision was removed because Chairman Hatch is a strong advocate for a full repeal of the Cadillac Tax as part of the budget reconciliation bill – eliminating the need to narrow employee contribution exemptions. Additionally, the provision that expands HSAs to those receiving care under TRICARE was removed because it is included in S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.

Chances for enactment

The Senate sponsor is the Chairman of the Finance Committee, and the House sponsor is a member of the Health Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee – both of which have jurisdiction over healthcare legislation.

The future of HSAs

HSAs are poised to become a foundational pillar for the future of healthcare – muck like 401(k)s did for retirement spending and saving. They empower consumers to take ownership and accountability for their healthcare finances – providing transparency, portability, increased consumer choice, integrated wellness incentives, triple-tax advantaged healthcare and retirement savings and increased affordability for employers, employees and individuals on Exchanges.

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