Reps. Bera, Smith Introduce Bill to Expand Health Savings Accounts to Seniors Covered by Medicare
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) and Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) announced today that they have introduced a bipartisan bill, H.R. 3796 - Health Savings for Seniors Act, that would allow seniors covered under Medicare to continue using or create new Health Savings Accounts (HSA). Seniors covered by Medicare are not eligible for HSAs under current law.
An HSA allows individuals to set aside pre-tax money to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses such as copayments, deductibles, and also glasses, hearing aids, first aid supplies, and prescription drugs. These funds remain in the account and are not “use it or lose it” like other types of accounts. Additionally, HSAs are interest-bearing accounts, further encouraging individuals to save for future unexpected health care expenses.
“As a doctor, I am committed to the health and wellbeing of all Americans, including seniors,” said Rep. Bera. “Unfortunately, seniors covered under Medicare are currently prohibited from contributing to a Health Savings Account, a critical tool that many of individuals routinely use before they are on Medicare. HSAs would particularly help seniors pay for services such as dental and vision care that is currently not covered under Medicare, leading to a healthier and happier life, and a more dignified retirement. I’m proud to work with Rep. Smith on this commonsense fix to an unnecessary restriction on our seniors.”
“Missouri’s seniors should not be discriminated against from owning a Health Savings Account,” said Rep. Smith. “Currently HSAs give millions of Americans more choice, flexibility, and savings to address health care expenses. This bill will allow our seniors the same access to these important cost saving tools. Our efforts will end a needless constraint on seniors and allow them to use Health Savings Accounts to lower their out of pocket health care expenses.”
The legislation is supported by the ABA HSA Council, Corporate Health Care Coalition, the Employers Coalition for Flexible Compensation, and HealthEquity.