The Employee Benefit Research Institute recently published a batch of data on the vehicle at the heart of many Republican proposals for replacing the Affordable Care Act — the health savings account.
Donald Trump included a revamped HSA program in his ACA replacement proposals while he was running for president. His pick to be the next Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Price, has also been a strong advocate of expanding the HSA program.
The current HSA program lets consumers and employers put money into an individually owned HSA. Consumers can avoid paying taxes on either the contributions or the withdrawals, as long as they spend the money on qualified medical expenses.
But a consumer must combine an HSA with a high-deductible health plan that meets both a rigid minimum deductible standard and a rigid out-of-pocket annual spending maximum standard. For 2017, for example, the minimum deductible is $1,300 for an individual and $2,700 for a family. The top annual out-of-pocket maximum is $6,550 for an individual and $13,100 for a family.
EBRI, a Washington-based benefits think tank, includes many different HSA charts and tables in its HSA report.
In the report, which is based on a private HSA database that includes information on 4 million HSAs, EBRI analysts show that about 80 percent employers with 5,000 or more employees offer HSA-compatible health coverage, but that only 25 percent of employers with three to 499 employees offer HSA-compatible health coverage.
About 2.4 million of the HSA received a contribution from either an employer or the holder in 2015, and about 2.6 million made distributions.
The average year-beginning balance at an HSA with a balance was $1,332.
The average year-end balance at an HSA with a balance was $1,844.
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