Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Alphabet Soup News

CongressCritters will be working on tweaking Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) rules tomorrow:

"One of the bills, for example, H.R. 5842, the Restoring Access to Medication Act bill, would restore health account holders' ability to use HSA and FSA cash to pay for over-the-counter medications not prescribed by physicians."

As we've pointed out before, this rule made no sense at all to begin with. Aren't we supposed to be using less health care?

"Other bills up for consideration could make it easier for FSA holders to get back or roll over unused balances at the end of the year."

Again, one of the major problems with FSA "use it or lose it" requirements is that it encourages profligate spending.

"A third bill up for consideration, H.R. 5858, would let early retirees over the age of 55 use HSA funds to pay for health insurance without paying income taxes on the distributions."

Currently, HSA funds can only be used to pay for (some) Long Term Care (LTCi) and COBRA premiums, and Medicare premiums once one hits the magic 65.
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