In what many advisers call an overdue victory for America’s working class, the House Ways and Means Committee passed 11 bills to House in July that accomplish a myriad of goals. Aimed at providing Americans with an assortment of affordable health care options, each bill focuses on streamlining and increasing access to consumer-directed plans tied to standard Health Savings Accounts.
Although the Republican-led House can muster enough votes to push all 11 bills into Senate, a Democratic filibuster may stall further progression, though the expectation is that they’ll pass early next year.
The 11 Bills Passed to House
Here are all 11 bills, and an abbreviated description of their functions:
- H.R. 6301 – Offers patients greater HSA flexibility without sacrificing eligibility.
- H.R. 6317 – Protects individuals eligible for HSA accounts who participate in direct primary care (DPC) arrangements.
- H.R. 6305 – Enhances the value of health spending accounts by allowing spouses to contribute.
- H.R. 6312 – Offers tax incentives to individuals who take steps toward improving health, like buying gym memberships.
- H.R. 6309 – Expands eligibility for HSA to seniors still working.
- H.R. 6199 – Adds feminine products to eligible purchases on tax-favored health accounts.
- H.R. 6306 – Allows spouses to make ‘catch-up’ contributions and extends grace period between HSA enrollment and when medical expenses were incurred.
- H.R. 6313 – Permits patients to carry over balances from previous year to next year’s flexible spending account.
- H.R. 4616 – Delays harmful ‘Cadillac tax’ induced by Obamacare while providing relief from tedious employer mandate.
- H.R. 6314 – Plans that fall into ‘bronze’ and ‘catastrophic’ categories will qualify for HSA’s.
- H.R. 6311 – Allows premium tax cuts rolled out with Obamacare to be used on qualified plans offered by outside exchanges.
We believe, as do other major investment firms and well-known investment advisors, that these bills not only rollback horrible limitations placed on health spending accounts, but incentivize people to ‘share the wealth’ by shopping for plans outside of regular exchanges.
What this means
Obama-era restrictions on how spouses can contribute, along with how HSA’s are used, will become more relaxed. Eligibility for health spending accounts, and how much individuals can contribute, will greatly increase.
Low-cost HSA-qualified health care sharing plans like the Partially Directed Healthcare plan offered by MPowering Benefits, growing in popularity among millennials and most working-class people under 65, will become more useful as each bill passes Senate. Those currently enrolled in HSA-qualified planswill not only continue receiving their tax benefits, but may realize an increase in that tax deduction.
More about MPowering
Health share plans aren’t administered by insurance companies, but organizations known as HCSM’s, or Health Care Sharing Ministries. By pooling together costs and enrolling under these plans, member realize a much lower premium while adding greater flexibility to their health care options.
MPowering Benefits offers a health care sharing plan, in conjunction with an HSA-qualified minimum essential coverage (MEC) health insurance plan. This is quickly becoming one of the most popular plans we offer, due to both its low monthly cost, and the HSA eligibility.
To learn about MPowering Benefits and other health sharing and savings plans, call 800-913-3416 for an in-depth discussion with one of our Personal Benefits Managers ready to help you save toward a healthier future.
Misty Berryman is a Personal Benefits Manager at ColoHealth. Her aim is to help you make smart and informed healthcare coverage decisions that will fit your needs and budget. Read more about Misty on her Bio page.