Staff Picks: 10 HSA-eligible must-haves for summer

June is finally here and families all over the U.S. will look to the great outdoors to enjoy their favorite summer activities. But in light of the COVID-19 public health crisis, health implications and safety take on a new profound importance in everyday life, so now may be the right time to dip into your health savings account (HSA) funds to help you better prepare for the summer ahead.

Before it's time to enjoy the great outdoors (safely), we surveyed the Health-E Commerce team for their summer product favorites, and we were able to whittle it down to our 10 favorite eligible medical products of 2020:

1. Bug Bite Thing®

Summer means pesky mosquitoes, and if you're looking for a drug-free way to treat insect bites, look no further than the Bug Bite Thing®! This device uses suction to painlessly and effectively extract insect saliva/venom from under the skin to eliminate itching, stinging and swelling.

2. Sun Bum® Lip Balm Watermelon - SPF 30

Don't neglect your lip protection during the summer months! Sun Bum® lip balm offers broad spectrum protection to safeguard against UV rays, as well as moisturizers to keep them feeling refreshed and cool with a fun watermelon flavor!

3. MDSolarSciences™ Daily Wear Moisturizing Sunscreen - SPF 30

Year-round sun care is a smart choice for your skin health, so if you're looking for a daily wear sunscreen that can support your skin while keeping you protected, look no further than this great daily wear sunscreen from MDSolarSciences™.

4. SPOTMYUV® Detection Stickers

This wearable UV detection sticker is one of the favorites of the FSAstore.com staff! This color changing sticker is waterproof, sweat resistant and hypoallergenic, and changes color when it's time for you to reapply sunscreen.

5. Neutrogena® Wet Skin Kids Stick Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Protection - SPF 70

Don't forget kid's sun protection as well! Our pick is the Neutrogena® Wet Skin Kids Stick, which offers broad spectrum and SPF 70 protection, and extra water resistance to keep them safe. If your little ones are especially little, we also have baby sunscreen.

6. Caring Mill™ Bradie Sun Readers

Need a new pair of readers for the beach or wherever you're headed? See clearly and support a great cause! With the sale of each Caring Mill product, we make a donation to Children's Health Fund.

7. Band-Aid® Hydro Seal Bandages Blister Cushion

If blisters are common when you hit the great outdoors, plan ahead with Band-Aid® Hydro Seal Blister Cushions. They're moisture-resistant to stay adhered during long walks and hikes, and can help you ward off discomfort all summer long.

8. Vibrathotics®

While we're on the subject of foot pain, one of our favorite hi-tech health products is Vibrathotics®, a vibrating shoe insert that reduces pain and numbness in the feet by improving blood circulation and stimulating nerves. They're perfect for a post-gym cooldown, pain relief after a long walk and are a great drug-free choice for foot pain.

9. KT Tape® Pro, Pre-Cut

Muscle soreness and injuries shouldn't get in the way of your fitness plan, and that's why athletes the world over trust KT Tape® to stay in the game. These kinesiology tapes are super flexible to be worn during workouts to enhance blood flow to sore and aching muscles without obstructing your range of motion.

10. MediAid® First Aid Kit

Are you prepared for medical emergencies during your summer travels? Stay on top of bumps, bruises, cuts and more with a portable MediAid® first aid kit, which can easily fit in a bag, glove compartment or suitcase.

And don't forget, with the passage of the CARES Act in late March, your FSA now covers over-the-counter (OTC) medicines without a prescription, and feminine care products like tampons, pads, and more are now fully FSA-eligible! It's a great time to be an FSA user.


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Eligibility

HSA Product Pick of the Week: KT Tape Recovery Cold Therapy Roller

Happy New Year and welcome to 2020! As we kick off a new plan year for HSA users, the key question that should be on your mind is how much you should spend/save of your 2020 HSA contribution. Sure, your HSA can help you cover health expenses in retirement and even serve as an extra retirement account for non-medical expenses after age 65, but covering health issues in the present can help you avoid more serious health issues down the line.

So each week, we'll take a closer look at HSA-eligible products in the hopes that you'll find a smart way to spend your HSA dollars, and hopefully it will come at a time when you need it most!

This week, a product I have some personal experience with ...


Over the holiday season, I managed to pull a muscle in my back. It was understandably painful, and I knew I could get back on my feet with some regular cold therapy with cold packs or ice to ease the pain and inflammation. But I was lucky enough that my folks had purchased a KT Tape Recovery Cold Therapy Roller over the past year and I am a true convert to this HSA-eligible product.

While cold packs are great for applying cold therapy on an affected area, the cold therapy ball will allow you to apply massage pressure in addition to cold therapy to double its utility. The device contains two cold therapy balls (which are placed in the freezer) that are held inside of a metal ball that screws tight. This ball can be used on its own or can be held in the plastic jacket that makes it easier to apply massage therapy to injured areas. And having two lets you switch back and forth quickly to get a freshly chilled replacement.

Over the course of four days, I switched back and forth between a normal cold pack and the KT Tape Recovery Cold Therapy Roller, and just the sheer fact that I could manipulate the injured muscles and underlying tissues with the roller helped me bounce back far sooner than I imagined. But that was just my back injury - this recovery ball could come in handy for any manner of acute pain injuries, workout soreness and a lot more. And it's small enough to hide in your freezer for when you actually need it.

So for this first week of January 2020, we can't recommend the KT Tape Recovery Cold Therapy Roller enough! It's a smart addition to your home's medical supplies and a great way to benefit from your HSA funds.

Eligibility

Product Pick of the Week: Quell Wearable Pain Relief Starter Kit

Happy holidays! If you are perusing the best shopping deals this week, don't forget that you have a ready-made reserve -- your HSA funds! If you have a medical condition you've been having trouble managing or your home's medical supplies need a refresh, this is the perfect time of year to do a bit of tax-free shopping.

For this week's product pick, we turn to the world of drug-free pain relief with a device that has become extremely popular with our customers. The Quell Wearable Pain Relief Starter Kit is a prescription-strength TENS machine that is comfortable to wear 24/7 to treat a wide variety of joint pain, fibromyalgia and other chronic pain issues.

The device treats pain issues by stimulating sensory nerves with safe and precise electrical pulses to trigger a natural pain relief response. While therapy regimens may vary, Quell suggests three one-hour therapy sessions per day.

The Quell Wearable Pain Relief Starter Kit allows you to take advantage of the targeted therapy that TENS machines provide, in a design that is built to be worn day and night. The adjustable band can be tightened/loosened to be worn comfortably anywhere.

But where the Quell really shines is how your therapy can be adjusted through its companion Quell App. The device can be controlled through iOS and Android devices to set up therapy sessions, receive notifications and even receive weather updates that could affect your therapy sessions.

Instead of planning your life around your chronic pain issues, the continuous therapy of the Quell Wearable Pain Relief Starter Kit can make your pain relief therapy a part of your everyday routine. It's a smart investment for those looking to explore the huge world of drug-free pain relief and can be a great solution for myriad pain issues.

Other drug-free pain relief options

Eligibility

HSA Product Pick of the Week: SPOTMYUV UV Detection Stickers

While most of the country is preparing for cold & flu season and winter health concerns, if you live in a more tropical part of the U.S. or if you'll be traveling to a warmer climate in the near future, your HSA covers a huge range of sun care products to keep you and your family safe from the sun's rays.

But we have a new eligible innovation to share with you that can actually tell you when it's time to re-apply sunscreen whether you're at the beach or hitting the trail. The SPOTMYUV UV Detection Stickers are the first clinically proven UV detection sticker that can let you know if your sunscreen is still active over the course of the day. The stickers are placed on the skin, and then sunscreen is applied over it and uniformly on your body.

When the UV detection sticker is exposed to sunlight (UVA and UVB rays), it changes from clear to purple, while visible light (UVA and UVB rays are blocked by sunscreen), it changes from purple to clear.

These stickers are waterproof, sweat-resistant, hypoallergenic and will last all day long to give you or a loved one a new window into your sun care regimen. If you ever found yourself wondering if you need to reapply sunscreen after swimming or physical activity, all you have to do now is look down and see what color the sticker is on your skin to let you know when it's time to lather on some more sunscreen.

If you've ever had a bad sunburn because you forgot to put on more sunscreen over the course of the day, the SPOTMYUV UV Detection Stickers are a no-brainer to keep you and your family safe no matter where you're headed. It's a fun new way to stay protected from the sun's rays and may just spare you from nasty sunburns in the future!

Eligible, year-round sun care

Eligibility

Product Pick of the Week - MedAngel ONE Wireless Thermometer

Every home needs a good thermometer to help track temperature readings during illnesses. But did you ever think that your medication could use a thermometer as well? For millions of Americans who manage chronic conditions and need a variety of medications kept at a certain temperature, knowing that it is safe and ready to use is worth its weight in gold.

For this week's Product Pick of the Week, we're choosing the MedAngel ONE Wireless Thermometer which is one of the first of its kind designed to stand up to cool environments like refrigerators and cool bags. With Bluetooth compatibility and a dedicated app, you'll be notified quickly if temperatures approach or exceed pre-set zones, which provides peace of mind .

The MedAngel ONE Wireless Thermometer is perfect for those who monitor chronic conditions and proper medication storage is a key consideration. This is a great choice for those who take insulin, biologics, multiple sclerosis-medications, hormones, epoetins, pen injectors and many more. The thermometer app also contains storage instructions for all of the aforementioned medications so you can find the pre-set that works perfectly with your needs.

Finally, the MedAngel ONE sensor is powered by a standard coin cell battery which lasts for 8-9 months, so you can expect many years of great service out of this handy thermometer. If you, your spouse or qualified dependent have to store medication to treat conditions, this is a smart way to spend your health savings account (HSA) funds. You may start to wonder how you lived without it!

Other home medical favorites






Eligibility

Product Pick of the Week: Caring Mill Travel Heating Pad

For a large majority of American families, at-home pain relief methods are pretty simple. Cold packs for injuries, pain relievers for headaches and general pain, and maybe an elastic bandage or athletic brace for a sprained ankle. But let me be the first to say that a good heating pad needs to be included in that conversation.

Caring Mill Travel Heating Pad

For this week's selection, let's take a closer look at the Caring Mill Travel Heating Pad, sold exclusively at FSAstore.com and HSAstore.com! Heating pads come in every shape and size imaginable, but we think this Caring Mill design for travel is a smart choice for all applications.

First aid

Muscle sprains and pulls can benefit from a combination of cold and heat therapy, such as using a heating pad in combination with a cold pack. According to Healthline, while cold packs can help reduce inflammation and pain for muscle pulls and sprains, heating pads are a great accompaniment that can help open blood vessels to allow oxygenated blood to flow faster to the affected area and boost your recovery. In addition to acute injuries, heating pads are smart choices for chronic pain issues like lower back pain, joint issues and more.

Abdominal pain relief

Whether the source of your pain is a stomach virus, cramps or just general aches, abdominal pain is a tough nut to crack. Heating pads are one of the few treatment methods available that can increase circulation to these areas to reduce pain and loosen up tight muscles that could be contributing to cramping.

Pre-/post-workout treatment

Finally, if you're a gym rat, heating pads have a wide range of uses that can help you limber up and treat pain issues that may arise from heavy workouts. As we explained above, heating pads in tandem with cold packs are a smart choice for sports injuries, but if you have a troublesome muscle or joint issue hobbling you before a workout, applying a heating pad to this area can help you loosen up to get ready for physical activity.

So if you fit into any of the above criteria or looking to upgrade your pain relief regimen, give the Caring Mill Travel Heating Pad a try. In addition to serving all of your home pain relief needs, it's small enough to throw into your carry-on or overnight bag to take your heat therapy on the road.

Finally and most importantly, every purchase of a Caring Mill product will support Children's Health Fund, which is committed to providing health care to America's disadvantaged youth. That's a win-win for everyone involved!

More from Caring Mill!

Caring Mill™ Instant Ear Thermometer

The Instant Ear Thermometer provides a stable, heat interference-free reading with each measurement. It offers a wide measurement range feature from 32° F to 212° F.

$24.99

Caring Mill™ Premium Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

This is a compact and lightweight wrist blood pressure monitor with a universal cuff that makes it ideal to travel with.

$44.99

HSA Headlines - Job switching with an HSA

With the high cost of health care nationwide, HSAs are a smart choice for working professionals and their families and a hot topic now that we're in the midst of open enrollment season.

For this week's edition of HSA Headlines, we're taking a closer look at what happens to your HSA when you change jobs, and how high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are fast becoming the norm for many American workers.

What happens to your HSA if you leave your job?" - Robert Farrington, Forbes

We talk all the time about the benefits of HSAs (triple tax benefit, no deadlines, investment potential), but one that is often overlooked is that HSAs are portable! If you want to open an HSA through your employer, as long as you are enrolled in a compatible high-deductible health plan (HDHP), you can contribute. But if you decide to leave your current position, you can take your HSA with you.

HSA funds can be moved around to different accounts quite easily, so if you'd like to open up another at your next position or on your own if you're self-employed, you can very easily roll your HSA funds from your old account into a new one. And with lots of HSA investment options out there, what you originally saved at your last job can keep growing over time if you keep contributing!

Have a high-deductible health insurance plan? You're in good company - Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

To contribute to an HSA, you must be enrolled in an HSA-compatible high-deductible health plan (HDHP). While these plans were traditionally the exception rather than the norm, high deductibles are becoming a fact of life for an increasing number of Americans.

According to a new study conducted by the real estate service Clever, 66% of Americans have a yearly deductible of over $1,000. And that's a new development that's borne out by Clever's own numbers. In 2007, the average individual coverage deductible was $714, with 81% of respondents having a deductible of less than $1,000. In a little over a decade, that has changed dramatically with the average annual deductible being $1,573 and 67% of respondents now on an HDHP.

High deductibles are becoming a fact of life for many Americans, but HSAs open a world of savings options to spend them down. for those who have the means to cover their yearly deductible expenses and save to cover health expenses down the line.

Eligible essentials

Thermal-Aid Medium Sectional

Engineered to eliminate pain and swelling from arthritis, sports injuries, and more.

$30.95

LetsGetChecked HbA1C Diabetes Home Test

This home diabetes test for HbA1c can help identify pre-diabetes or determine how well a person's diabetes is being controlled following diagnosis.

$50.00

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HSA Headlines is a weekly roundup of the latest, most relevant news and conversations about your health savings. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the HSA Learning Center. And for more about your physical and financial well-being, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Living Well

HSA Headlines - How much are U.S. workers spending on health care?

In last week's edition of HSA Headlines, we covered the topic of HSA education and new ways that employers are approaching their communication strategies during open enrollment. This week, we're going to examine why more education is needed -- so account holders can make the most of their money.

So it goes in the world of employee benefits! Though legislative changes might be able to offer some relief from these costs, the bigger issue is going to be how workers learn to better handle health spending.

U.S. Workers Spend $7,685 a Year on Healthcare. Here's How to Make Your Costs More Manageable - Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

This week we turn to a story that illuminates just how pivotal tax-advantaged accounts like HSAs are for American families and how much they have to cover in a given year. According to Bank of America's 2019 Workplace Benefits Report, the average U.S. worker should expect to spend $7,685 on average on health care annually.

That factors out to more than $5,000 being spent on premiums and a little over $2,000 on out-of-pocket expenses like copayments and deductibles. While you can't pay for premiums with your HSA, you sure can cover those out-of-pocket expenses!

The article does a good job breaking down what kinds of tools and resources are available to better plan for these expenses. And, as you may have guessed, the best tool is education. As we prepare to dive headlong into open enrollment season, it's important that customers don't just "default" to whatever plan seems easiest.

Instead, the better approach is to do the math, make some predictions about the coming year (based on past experiences) and craft a health plan that has your wallet in focus, alongside your health.

As health care costs rise, saving on taxes with an HSA and saving the remainder for retirement is a smart play in this environment.

Complete pain relief

Pain Relief Bundle

Address different types of pain with this pain relief set. Treats headaches, migraines, sinus pain, neck and shoulder aches and more.

$116.99

MedCline LP Shoulder Relief System

The MedCline LP Shoulder Relief System is a new device designed for the ultimate in side-sleeping comfort

$278.00


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HSA Headlines is a weekly roundup of the latest, most relevant news and conversations about your health savings. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the HSA Learning Center. And for more about your physical and financial well-being, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Basics

HSA Headlines - Changing the HSA narrative through education

It's finally October here at HSAstore.com and the peak of the open enrollment season! While the news around HSAs is mostly dominated by helping consumers make the right choice with their benefits options this fall, employer and business-focused journalism is rife with interesting tidbits about where the HSA market and enrollment could be heading in the future.

This week, we'll look into the education issue around HSAs and how one company broke convention and bolstered enrollment with a new messaging strategy.

Only 11 percent of employees fully understand HSAs, data shows" - Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

We hear from benefits managers all the time: "If people knew the benefits of HSAs, more would enroll!" That's certainly true, but according to the 2019 Workplace Benefits Report by Bank of America that asked working professionals to do just that, just 11% were able to name key attributes of an HSA -- namely, the triple tax advantage, how funds never expire, and how owners have investment options.

Not only are these major attributes that every benefits supplement should spell out, they are talking points that can pique the interest of working professionals who may want to enroll in an HSA. This shows the communication hurdle that benefits managers and HR reps alike have to overcome each open enrollment, but there are strategies they can do to improve this knowledge.

How one employer opened workers' eyes to the benefits of HSAs - Amanda Schiavo, Employee Benefit News

To piggyback off the article above, we bring you the story of Sara Caddy, a benefits manager with Dimensional Funds Advisors, a private investment firm. And she had a novel approach that could resonate with workers this fall: explain HSAs less as tax-advantaged accounts like FSAs and more like retirement accounts.

Caddy discovered that a key point of confusion is that many workers can't tell the difference between FSAs and HSAs and see them largely as the same thing. So instead of communicating HSAs as point of sale cards and yearly contributions, they were communicated to employees as primarily retirement accounts. And it paid off: Some 80% of the HSA funds at Dimensional investment plans, and 52% of employees have used their funds in the past year.

This is a key question for benefits managers nationwide: Are HSAs better for saving or spending? We think a combination of both is a sound strategy, but as for piquing the interest of employees during open enrollment, driving home retirement benefits may move the needle a bit more to get employees onboard.

Top sellers

Clear Care No Rub Cleaning & Disinfecting Solution Value Pack

A convenient and effective system for simultaneous cleaning, daily protein removal, and disinfecting of soft (hydrophilic) and rigid gas permeable lenses.

Caring Mill™ Premium Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

This is a compact and lightweight wrist blood pressure monitor with a universal cuff that makes it ideal to travel with.

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HSA Headlines is a weekly roundup of the latest, most relevant news and conversations about your health savings. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the HSA Learning Center. And for more about your physical and financial well-being, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Living Well

HSA Headlines - How drug coupons could affect your out-of-pocket costs

As September comes to a close, open enrollment programs are kicking off nationwide and employees at companies large and small will make pivotal benefits decisions.

In this week's edition of HSA Headlines, we'll take aim at two trends that could factor into how HSA users make contributions this fall, and whether recent regulation changes or prevailing health care trends could cause them to miss the mark on their contribution this year.

Drug manufacturer coupons and out-of-pocket limits: What employers need to know - Andrew Silverio, BenefitsPro

To contribute to an HSA, you have to be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), and these plans have out-of-pocket maximums that dictate when you've reached your deductible and insurance will now start covering expenses in full. For 2020, an HDHP's total yearly out-of-pocket expenses (including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) can't be more than $6,900 for an individual or $13,800 for a family (Healthcare.gov). The cost of prescription drugs is a major consideration here, and a recent change by the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS) may change the calculus of HSA users.

The change in question: "beginning in 2020, we will allow individual market, small group, large group and self-insured group health plans to except from the maximum out-of-pocket limit cost sharing amounts paid using drug manufacturer coupons for specific prescription brand drugs that have an available and medically appropriate generic equivalent."

What does it all mean? This ruling is meant to drive health plan users to consider generic alternatives, but this could be a sore spot for HSA users looking to hit their deductible limit as quickly as possible. As it stands, throughout the duration of 2020, plans will be able to exclude manufacturer coupon amounts from annual out of pocket maximum accumulators.

So, even if an account holder finds a better deal with a manufacturer coupon, it may be denied by the plan administrator. As of now, there is no list of "exempted drugs" that the CMS is trying to cover, but this is something that should be factored into HSA users' plans as 2020 gets underway.

Eligible OTC needs

Neosporin Plus Pain Relief, Maximum Strength Antibiotic Ointment

Treat every minor cut, scratch, and burn with Neosporin to prevent infection and aid in healing.

Flonase Allergy Relief Nasal Spray, 120 Count

Whether you're allergic to seasonal triggers like pollen and ragweed, or constant triggers like pet dander.


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HSA Headlines is a weekly roundup of the latest, most relevant news and conversations about your health savings. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the HSA Learning Center. And for more about your physical and financial well-being, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Basics

HSA Headlines - Where the health care debate is heading

As the last days of summer slide through, Congress coming back in session and open enrollment season in full swing, there's about to be plenty of big health care headlines coming down off the wire in the coming weeks.

In last week's post, we examined the massive growth of HSA enrollment, assets and more. While those numbers were certainly promising, some HSA user behaviors still continue on. We'll dive into that and where we think the national health care debate could be heading this fall.

Investing HSA Savings is Key to Building Accounts - Rebecca Moore, PlanSponsor

PlanSponsor took a deeper dive into the Devenir numbers we examined last week, and while there was positive news across the board, users are not taking full advantage of HSA investing potential from the get-go when opening their accounts. While HSA investments have increased 35% year-over-year from June 2018-19, seasonality of when employees make contributions is an unexpected curveball.

It turns out that when employees open up an HSA investment account during the fall open enrollment season, most will leave them unfunded until the following spring. This accounts for a majority of the 15% of unfunded accounts that Devenir found in its survey. This suggests that additional HSA education is needed on the employee level to help workers get these accounts funded sooner so they can start building wealth.

The two big healthcare fights coming up this fall - Dylan Scott, Vox

While Medicare-for-All certainly isn't passing anytime soon, there are a number of healthcare-specific bills that could see a vote in the coming months - and a lot of public debate in the media. The first is a drug pricing plan from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), which would direct the federal government to negotiate prices of certain expensive drugs with little or no competition — and, crucially, that would also become the price in the private market, not just the Medicare drug coverage price.

This would certainly set up a battle with the pharmaceutical industry, but drug pricing reform has broad, bipartisan support, so this plan could see some action in the fall.

Finally, surprise medical bills and how Congress can act to reduce American's healthcare costs. A number of different proposals are on the table, but most center on how much insurers should charge and what a patient's liability is when visiting an out-of-network hospitals or provider during an emergency and are then hit with massive bills. But with major pushback expected from the industry at large, this one is gearing up for a big health care fight in Congress.

HSA-eligible best sellers

Supergoop! AcaiFusion Lip Balm

This lip balm with SPF 30+ hydrates, repairs, protects, and soothes.

Family Essentials Bundle

The set consists of first aid items, a cold compress, lip balm, heat wraps and more.


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HSA Headlines is a weekly roundup of the latest, most relevant news and conversations about your health savings. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the HSA Learning Center. And for more about your physical and financial well-being, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Accounts

HSA Headlines - HSA assets grow to $60+ billion

It's that time of year again! One of the biggest surveys in the industry has just arrived and it's big news for HSA users and HSA watchers: the 2019 Mid-Year Devenir HSA Research Report. This survey includes the top 100 HSA providers nationwide and took place during July 2019, so this is a very recent picture of the state of the current HSA market.

This week, we're going to eschew the traditional HSA Headlines structure and hone in on the key data points in the survey, which are sure to give personal finance writers plenty to fill up columns about in the months ahead.

HSA assets exceed $60 billion

This is the big headline and one that shows that despite a brief slowdown in HSA numbers in the past report, HSA users are slowly but surely building up their assets in preparation for retirement or to cover expected/unexpected health expenditures as they arise. Overall, these assets are up 20% year-over-year.

Total HSAs surpass 26 million accounts

Brokers, benefits managers and human resources heroes are putting in the time to educate consumers about HSAs! Total HSA enrollment is up 12% year-over-year to now encompass more than 26 million accounts.

HSA investments are up

More people are exploring the investment potential of HSAs and it's paying off! The report found that HSA investment assets have reached $13.3 billion, and have jumped a remarkable 35% since last year. Also while we're on the subject of investing, 2019 marked the first time that more than 1 million HSA investment accounts were open, which makes up about 4% of all HSA accounts.

HSA contributions are growing

Finally, a good economy can result in a lot of extra HSA contributions and 2019 appears to be no exception. In the first six months of 2019 alone, HSA users contributed $22 billion to their accounts, which is up 12% from the same time in 2018.

Smart HSA spending ideas

Blockbuster Bundle

When you want the very best from your HSA.

Family Essentials

Big family needs require a better family bundle.


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HSA Headlines is a weekly roundup of the latest, most relevant news and conversations about your health savings. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the HSA Learning Center. And for more about your physical and financial well-being, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Basics

HSA Headlines - Is it time for you to have a long-term HSA strategy?

With September just a few days away, we're about to kick off open enrollment season. While this news will probably elicit a few eye rolls from working professionals, for us, it's like a big holiday. (Hey, it's what we do…)

Expect plenty of content on this subject in the coming weeks, but for today, we're focusing on that magic HSA moment when you've saved enough to cover your deductible, as well as a long-term picture of just how much health care costs have outpaced pay over the past decade. Let's dive into the headlines!

HSAs: Moving from spending to saving to strategizing - Emily Payne, BenefitsPro

HSAs have only been around since 2003 and were slow to be adopted by a large amount of working professionals with 76% of those having been opened since 2015 (EBRI). Paying down a deductible is a key facet of having an HDHP with an HSA, but many studies have shown that plans that have large deductibles can deter people from seeking care. But does that change when account balances grow to the size that yearly deductibles can be easily covered?

According to data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, those who had HSA balances of $3,000 or above were more likely to spend their funds on services such as imaging, emergency visits, outpatient and primary care.

Generally, over time, the higher the account balance, the more HSA users spend. And this is a key point - when an HSA user gets to the point that they no longer have to worry over a deductible, it will completely change their approach.

Which brings us to long-term strategy. The right combination of spending/saving is a key topic for benefits professionals, but communicating long-term saving can be difficult with immediate health needs to cover. Using the deductible as a savings threshold to open up bigger conversations about long-term investing and health care savings could be a new tactic for brokers and benefits pros alike to better assist HSA users.

Healthcare costs increased twice as fast as workers wages over last decade - Alison Rodriguez, AJMC

To illustrate what everyone is preparing for by saving all of those HSA funds, the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker recently released data that illustrated the scope of the ever-growing cost of health care. There are plenty of great data points here, but the one that may be the most illuminating is how health care costs compared to the growth of employee wages.

The hard numbers: families contribute 67% more to their health benefits than they did a decade ago, while employers contribute 51% more in premium contributions. But here's the kicker: wages have only increased 26% between 2008-2018.

Those are hard numbers for any family to overcome, which further illustrates just how important HSAs can be in helping cover these costs and reduce taxable income to improve financial bottom lines.

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HSA Headlines is a weekly roundup of the latest, most relevant news and conversations about your health savings. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the HSA Learning Center. And for more about your physical and financial well-being, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.