HR Policy Urges Congress to Improve HSAs in Omnibus Spending Bill

March 16, 2018

HR Policy encouraged Congress to update health saving accounts (HSAs) in the upcoming omnibus appropriations bill to ensure they “work well for patients and their families.”  Since HSAs were created in 2003, there have been advances in employee benefits that were not conceived of when the statute was enacted.  With this in view, the letter asks Congress to:
  • Provide greater flexibility to offer first-dollar coverage of services and medications for both chronic disease prevention and health services at onsite employee clinics and retail health clinics;
  • Clarify that “excepted benefits,” i.e., non-major medical benefits like telehealth and second opinion services, do not jeopardize a beneficiary’s eligibility to contribute to an HSA;
  • Update the definition of “dependents” to include adult children, domestic partners, and non-traditional dependents;
  • Permit the use of HSA dollars for wellness benefits, including exercise and other expenses incurred for the sole purpose of participating in physical activity; and
  • Allow an employee to contribute to an HSA even if his or her spouse has a health Flexible Spending Account.
Congress is expected to release the omnibus spending bill over the next few days for members to review and will attempt to pass it next week.