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  • Side Effects: Obamacare May Be Fatal for Your HSA

    President Obama promised Americans that “If you like the plan you have now, you can keep it.”  It was a fundamental promise of Obamacare.

    But if the coverage you like comes via a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), that promise may not hold.

    A recent analysis from HSA Consulting Services concludes the new law will probably lead to major changes in how consumers can use such plans.  And many of those changes may make the accounts far less appealing.  It all depends of how the Department of Health and Human Services writes the regs, says study author Roy Ramthun.

    The Obamacare law limits these consumer-controlled accounts in two ways:  it restricts the types of health products you can purchase with your HSA money, and it reduces the amount of money you’ll be able to put into your FSA.

    Unsurprisingly, there’s a price hike, too.  It doubles—to a whopping 20 percent—the tax penalty for withdrawing HSA funds to cover non-medical expenses.

    But the worst news for those using HSAs is the provision requiring all policies to cover at least 60 percent of the actuarial value of the benefits offered.  What’s the actual value?  No one really knows—not until the Health and Human Services Department issues regulations on how to calculate it.

    Will contributions to HSAs be included in these actuarial-value calculations?  HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will make that call.  And if she rules “no,” then high-deductible health plans including HSAs will no longer be viable… and you can kiss your plan good-bye.

    A major problem with our health system is that consumers typically have little say in how their health care dollars are spent.  HSAs and FSAs help vest that decision-making power in the hands of consumers, rather than in HSS bureaucrats.

    To learn more about the benefits of consumer-driven, patient-centered health reform, click here.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    28 Responses to Side Effects: Obamacare May Be Fatal for Your HSA

    1. Stephen Parrish says:

      Those wishing to be responsible and bear the own burdens while ceding untold wealth to the maw of government are punished.

      I hate this F'ing man.

    2. bliss w. wilder says:


    3. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Is this any surprise to anyone with half-a-brain? Just wait! As Pelosi said, we will

      continue to "learn what's in this bill".

    4. Tim AZ says:

      Stop minimizing the consequences of Mao-Bama care by calling them side effects. If you have any desire at all to win this battle then you must engage them on their terms instead of offering tea and crumpets. Do you believe this would be a successful strategy to employ against any terrorist group?

    5. Matt, North Carolina says:

      Nice use of weasel words!

    6. Matt, NC says:

      Actually, the analysis from HSA consulting services says "The changes to health savings accounts proposed by the House and Senate bills are relatively minor." I have an HSA, and I will be very upset if this administration renders them useless.

    7. Pingback: Flying Pigs and Stubborn States – Blog Watch

    8. Pingback: Side Effects from obamaCare | Health Insurance Colorado

    9. Mark Rubler, Amston, says:

      The mere survival of this socialized healthcare depends on monies paid into the system. Allowing individuals to have a health savings account just won't do. And with it goes the incentive to become an informed consumer of our healthcare dollar.

    10. bliss w. wilder says:


    11. William Fabrizio, Ma says:

      I'm surprised you missed one very positive side effect…..a republican house and senate in 2011 and a republican president in 2013. Obama was right, the people will love it once they are aware of it's benefits.

    12. Scott Winn, CA says:

      I felt a renewed sense of self-sufficiency and independence when I dumped my employer's lackluster health insurance plan for an HSA. I now pay a fraction of what my costs would be otherwise. If I get another job or even become unemployed, my low premiums and health savings go with me. Now my federal government, without reference to the Constitution which was created to limit abuses of power such as this, is taking that independence away.

      Thomas Jefferson said: "[G]iving [Congress] a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole [Constitution] to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. Certainly, no such universal power was meant to be given them. [The Constitution] was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect."

      Madison added, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one. . ."

      Madison also wrote: "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents. . ."

      . . . That is ObamaCare in a nutshell and it is an unwarranted usurpation of Constitutional authority.

    13. Pingback: MoConservativePatriot.com » Obamacare’s “unintended”(a-hem) Side Effects

    14. Deborah says:

      I just had to call CALPERS because the post office for some unknown reason decided to send all my mail back to the sender. I had to call CALPERS to find out where my retirement check is. The recording said that CALPERS does not know how Obamacare will affect my health insurance and that I should consistently go to their website and obtain information about the changes.

      The post office can not deliver my mail, and these are the people who are now dictating my healthcare.

      I have never been so scared.

    15. Lauren says:

      As a small business owner, I have loved HSA's since Bush first introduced them almost a decade ago. They were typical of the free-market thinking that should have been used for true reform. They allow me to control costs and save money on premiums. The only trick is that you have to be disciplined enough to put your savings into the HSA account for future use. Unfortunately, we are no longer a nation of fiscally responsible individuals. It is such a shame how the progressive movement has ruined this country. My grandparents would weep.

    16. Pingback: Flying Pigs and Stubborn States | Go HealthReform

    17. Thomas Larsen says:

      I think I read that in the bill, effective for 2010 tax period, is the reduction of 50% the amount you can deduct from your taxes for an HSA. If you do the rough math at 13+ million plan members (family plan) losing over $2800+ in deductions that are now taxed at an approx. 28% tax bracket you come up with a little over one billion ($1,000,000,000.00) in new revenue. Isn't that a increase of taxes on people making less than $250K? This guy makes me almost yearn for Bill Clinton. Without a diligent & truthful press, you have a 4th estate in full bloom without concience or consideration to the events unfolding.

    18. Pingback: HSA’s Endangered by Obamacare « Children of the State

    19. Pingback: The Side Effects of ObamaCare « The Foxhole

    20. Mutuelle says:

      Irrespective, pro or against the Obamacare bill, I do agree when you say that the main problems to come are linked with the seizure of its administration by the white collars.

      Nevertheless, happy should be the country where the health care is governed only one highly ranked civil servant.

      In France, the Security Sociale (The National French Health Care System) is managed by a private syndicate who has the duty of a public service.

      If the French State nominates its president, you can also find in the board of directors of this syndicate some social partners like unionists and employers who all sit on the board. A small amendment in the healthcare bill can have disproportioned consequences and becomes straight away political.

      As if this was not enough, the health insurance brokers and private health insurance companies who pay the balance of the costs do also get involved. In order to understand this, a small explanation is necessary.

      In 2008, the Securite Sociale reimbursed 74% of the healthcare expenses. The balance of the health costs for an individual is either paid by a health insurance broker, subscribed privately or by a mutual health organization, which is often provided by his employer. And in this market you will find 2 big organizations: the health broker and the mutual health insurance companies.

      The difference between the health insurance broker and the mutual health organization is that the mutual health organizations do not have any shareholders (one person, one vote) and do not distribute any dividends.

      You will understand that when the social partners manage to find a common ground amongst them, the mutual health organizations and the health insurance brokers become vocal as they represent 26% of the expenditure costs. Both sides rarely agree on an amendment of the healthcare system at the same time!

      It is also important to take into account the lobbying groups. Like in the USA, lobbying groups tend to influence the market. But the debate in France is no longer the healthcare system but the accessibility to the health care system. Nowadays those famous lobbying groups imposed to provide healthcare to anyone who requires it. In France anyone presenting themselves at an hospital is allowed treatment irrespective if that person is insured or not or if that person has complied with the immigration law or not.

      And of course it is all paid for by the Nation.

      In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, the Obamacare bill is a plus for your country nevertheless I hope that you will be able to edict rules in order to protect your country from being abused by this system which is now in place.

    21. Pingback: The Patriot's Flag » ObamaCare – A Reference Primer

    22. Pingback: Jason's Blog » Side Effects: Obamacare May Be Fatal for Your HSA

    23. Pingback: The first of many, I’m sure : monoblogue

    24. Pingback: WaPo Ignores Death of HSAs and FSAs | National Review Institute Blog

    25. Pingback: ObamaCare May Be Fatal to Your HSA | John Goodman's Health Policy Blog | NCPA.org

    26. Pingback: Top Ten Side Effects of 2010 | The Conservative Papers

    27. Pingback: A trojan horse for killing Obamacare in 2011 « Sago

    28. I still want to try out Obama Care, looks promising.

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