House Passes Two Bills to Lower Health Care Premiums and Expand HSA Flexibility
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.) today released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 6199, the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act, and H.R. 6311, the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act:
“Every year, more Americans are turning to health savings accounts (HSAs) for their freedom, choice and affordability. Obamacare failed to deliver on these promises, but also limited the scope and use of HSAs, restricting the ability to purchase over-the-counter drugs and choose coverage that works best for each individual family. These bills will help lower the cost of health coverage and medicines for North Carolina families, giving them relief from the broken government policies that have crippled our healthcare system for decades.”
The Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act expands the flexibility of HSAs, allows for other health-related savings and spending accounts to be converted to HSAs, repeals restrictions Obamacare placed on the purchasing of over-the-counter medications with a HSAs and allows for certain qualified sports and fitness expenses to be treated as qualified medical expenses.
Obamacare limited payments for medications from health savings accounts to only prescription drugs or insulin. This legislation would allow non-prescription medications and health products to be purchased using HSA funds.
The Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act allows for leftover funds to be rolled over to subsequent years for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), allows for working seniors enrolled in Medicare Part-A to contribute to their HSAs, authorizes all Americans to purchase a catastrophic health care plan, permits HSAs to be used on bronze and catastrophic plans, and delays the Obamacare health insurance tax.
According to the American Action Forum, the Obamacare health insurance tax "will substantially raise premiums for small businesses and households." The estimated impact is nearly $5,000 per family over a decade. Half of the tax is paid by people earning less than $50,000 a year.
Since HSAs became activated in 2004, their popularity has continually increased. America’s Health Insurance Plans cites that the number of HSA enrollees grew by almost 10 percent from 2016 to 2017, totaling 21.8 million.
Read the full text of the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act here and the full text of the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act here.