Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kohl, Feingold to Ruin HSA, HRA Plans

Since these plans work well, the Democrats Kohl and Feingold will ruin them. By no co-incidence, they will also smash the knuckles of middle-income, diligent, consumers of healthcare.

Thanks, you two twerps!!

'Flex' accounts let employees set aside some portion of their pre-tax pay for out-of-pocket costs or medical services that their insurance plan doesn't cover, such as a child's orthodontics or testing supplies for diabetics. The Reid bill caps these now-unlimited accounts at $2,500 per year and imposes new restrictions on qualifying medical expenses, raising some $5 billion by exposing income above the non-indexed cap to taxes.

But why stop there? Kohl and Feingold will also vote to destroy HSA's!!

The Reid bill also assaults health savings accounts, or HSAs, which allow individuals to accumulate tax-free funds for future medical expenses when coupled with low-premium, high-deductible insurance. The Reid bill changes tax provisions to make HSAs less attractive, but the real threat comes via increased regulation.

These insurance products will likely be barred from the insurance "exchanges" that will demolish and supplant today's individual market. Employers will also find them more difficult if not illegal to offer once the government has new powers to "define the essential health benefits" that all plans must eventually offer.

Each of those plans helps "bend the trend" of insurance premiums down.

Each of them is a target for Statists like Feingold and Kohl.

Seems to me that we have a target problem here.

So. Who's hurt?

...about 40% of tax filers with HSAs earn under $60,000, according to the IRS. The Employee Benefit Research Institute reports that 4% of adults with private insurance have an HSA this year—up from 1% in 2006—and about 9% are enrolled in some form of consumer-directed health plan. It also found that beneficiaries are evenly split between those with health problems and those without.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, whose members dominate the HSA market, says that enrollees are more likely than those with traditional insurance to be better consumers. They're more likely to track expenses (63% to 43%), save for the future (47% to 18%), and search for information on physician quality (20% to 14%). They're also more likely to participate and see results from wellness programs like weight loss, fitness and smoking cessation

Ironic. The only "choice" that Feinie and Herbie vote FOR is the "choice" to kill babies in the womb.

Like I said, we have a targeting problem.

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