When the Patient Protection and Afforable Care Act (PPACA) was enacted back in 2010, not that most of it has gone into effect, it reached in to many areas that we never imagined. Two of those are Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
The insurance companies are trying to comply with a moving target in designing health plans–what has to be covered, what might have to be covered, what are the maximum deductibles, and so on. Much of this has not been defined yet. All our local carriers are trying to design plans for the small group health plan arena to address the complexity and diversity of Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura Counties. WE agents are seeing all sorts of things pop up. Trying to design plans that will give consumers flexibility while containing costs isn’t easy.
FSAs and HSAs were supposed to be a part of health care reform, limits were supposed to be imposed, then not, and these two relatively simple things have now been further complicated, as this terrific article by Allison Bell shows. Initially money from these accounts couldn’t be used to pay for over the counter drugs. Now, more and more things are available over the counter, but aren’t dirt cheap so consideration is being given to allowing money from these funds to be used. If you administer employee benefits, check out this article to get an idea of what’s going on, it might help get some insight as to what to do with your future offerings.
Remember, the government is trying to balance affordable health care with maintaining or increasing tax revenue. Now there’s a juggling act I’d prefer to pass on!