May 31, 2011
In This Issue
House to Hold MLR Hearing with NAHU Witness
The Federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) Announces That It Will Start Paying Agents and Brokers
Budget Battle Still Dominates National Health Policy Discussion
Senator Hatch Introduces Legislation to Improve HSA Access and Expand Small Business Coverage Options
PPACA Constitutional Challenge Update
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Senator Hatch Introduces Legislation to Improve HSA Access and Expand Small Business Coverage Options

On May 26, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Representative Erik Paulsen (R-MN) introduced legislation supported by NAHU that would repeal the part of PPACA that will prohibit small business owners from buying health insurance policies with individual deductibles that exceed $2000 in 2014. The Family and Retirement Health Investment Act of 2011 will also expand the use of tax-exempt health savings accounts (HSAs) and allow for individuals to roll over $500 flexible spending accounts (FSAs) annually.

To improve HSAs, the legislation will:

  • allow a husband and wife to make catch-up contributions to the same HSA;
  • remove the onerous new restrictions on the use of HSA and FSA dollars for the purchase of over-the-counter drugs;
  • allow individuals to roll over up to $500 from their FSA accounts;
  • clarify the use of prescription drugs as preventive care that will not be subject to an HSA-eligible plan deductible;
  • reauthorize the use of Medicaid health opportunity accounts;
  • promote wellness by expanding the definition of qualified medical expenses to encourage more exercise and better diet;
  • allow seniors enrolled in Medicare Part A to continue contributing to their HSAs; and
  • allow for the purchase of low-premium health insurance and long-term care insurance with HSA dollars.
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