Two bills were recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives amending several Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions which may affect school districts, cities and counties should they become law.
Restoring Access to Medication Act
This legislation includes provisions to improve health access, increase HSA (Health Savings Account) contributions and provide administrative fixes to the Affordable Care Act.
Current ACA rules state that an individual must obtain a prescription from their doctor if they want to purchase over-the-counter medications using their HSA, HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangement) or FSA (Flexible Spending Account). This proposed repeal would reduce healthcare costs and increase an individual’s ability to make their own financial and healthcare decisions.
Increase Maximum Contribution
It has been proposed to increase the maximum contribution limit for HSAs to equal the sum of the annual deductible and out-of-pocket expenses. The limit would be $6,550 for single and $13,100 for family. This increase in contributions may provide more consumer savings, the opportunity to invest those savings and create more incentives for employers to offer HSAs.
Ease Administrative Burdens
If passed, the proposed bill will allow spouses (who are HSA-eligible and age 55 or older) to open a joint HSA account for their ‘catch-up’ contributions. Current law requires that each spouse open a separate account.
Small Business Health Care Relief Act
The Small Business Health Care Relief Act bill proposes to overturn the IRS guidance that currently prevents some small employers (under 50 employees) from funding employee HRAs because they violated the ACA insurance market reforms. The bill would expand the HRA market for small employers and establish new small employer HRAs which would be funded solely by the employer to reimburse employees for health insurance premiums and other qualified medical expenses. The maximum reimbursements would be $5,130 for single and $10,260 for family.
The next step for both of these bills is to go to the Senate for a vote. If the Senate passes either of them, they will then go onto the President who will decide if they should become law. For more ACA-related posts and information, check out our other articles.