Health care spending concept

Health savings accounts (HSAs) were established in order to provide a tax-effective means for people in high deductible health plans to make tax deductible contributions to fund medical out-of-pocket (OOP) expenses not covered by insurance. However, many people may not be able eligible to contribute to an HSA due to limitations imposed on HSA eligibility.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 85% of covered workers are subject to a general annual deductible. The general annual deductible has increased 13% over the past five years and 68% over the past 10 years. The changes in the health insurance marketplace in the years since HSAs were established indicate that HSAs would be a helpful way to provide more people with a means to fund these increased deductibles and out-pocket expenses on a tax-favored basis.

It is time for Congress to update the HSA rules to allow more people to establish an HSA to help pay for their deductibles and OOP expenses. A number of bills have been introduced in Congress that chip away at the restrictions on who can contribute to an HSA. Rather than address these problems on a piecemeal basis, Congress should consider a simple solution: allow anyone covered by a health plan that meets the requirements under the Affordable Care Act to contribute to an HSA.

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