Washington, DCToday, Representatives John Curtis (R-UT) and Kendra Horn (D-OK) introduced bipartisan legislation to significantly expand access to health savings accounts (HSAs). These tax-advantaged accounts permit individuals or families to help save for future health care expenses if they are enrolled in a high-deductible health care plan (HDHP). However, this requirement bars millions of Americans from choosing how they want to invest in their health care based off their needs, and why Representative Curtis took action to fix this antiquated law.

“Health care is about keeping people healthy and out of the doctor’s office,” said Curtis. “But our current system is too cost-prohibitive, severely lacks choice, and contains a long list of misaligned incentives. It makes no sense why seniors cannot invest in HSAs that allow individuals to use funds toward prescription drug costs when they are some of the most affected by the rising costs of prescription medications. That’s why I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation that will significantly expand access to these game-changing accounts and to allow individuals to focus on their health through wellness programs or preventative medicine to avoid costlier care down the road.”

Statement of Support

Daniel Perrin, HSA Coalition President: “This is a particularly timely piece of legislation during the pandemic.  First, many people, like me, have gained the pandemic 15 pounds.  Second, the gyms are closed but also struggling financially because they were closed.  So, if you want to help small businesses, help Americans lose weight and get in shape, all of which will help with the other American pandemic – obesity – this bill is the ticket to help on all those issues.  Financial incentives to help lower health care costs by helping Americans lose weight and get in shape are the most effective of all incentives.  This is the right bill at the right time.”

Background

By decoupling HSAs from these rigid HDHPs, Medicare beneficiaries would be permitted to use HSA funds to purchase prescription medications or adult Medicaid recipients to use on comprehensive dental care, which not all state Medicaid programs across the US cover. This also gives younger and healthier families who want to start a family the ability to purchase cheaper, reliable employer-sponsored health care coverage while investing in future health care costs for themselves or for their children.  

In addition to decoupling HSAs from HDHP, this landmark legislation adds to the list of qualifying expenses for HSAs, including: 

  • Dietary nutritional supplements 
  • Telehealth services (currently only permitted during the COVID-19 pandemic) 
  • Premium payments for those enrolled in individual marketplace plans and who do not qualify for federal cost-sharing subsidies
  • Purchasing home gym equipment (up to $500) or using $100/month for a gym membership

Finally, the bill allows dependents ages 16+ to invest in HSAs in addition to increasing the annual contribution limit for individuals and families to the annual out-of-pocket limit for the plan year.