HSA's - great webinar from EBIA

Not sure if this is appropriate here or not, since it's promoting another organization's material, but I just viewed a webinar yesterday sponsored by EBIA (Employee Benefits Institute of America) on HSA's and it was a great presentation! The technology they used made it very easy to move through the presentation at your own pace, or just follow along with the original timeline. There was a handout available to download - a 60-page document with the info from the slides and additional reference material - and you could listen to the speaker as you clicked on each slide.

The material was well presented and I finally feel that I have a pretty good understand of what all is involved in setting up an HSA, or at least considering whether it makes sense for your organization. I have to say that with all the restrictions and unanswered questions still out there, I'd be surprised if many companies offer these. What was striking to me is that if an employee opts for the HSA - the employee must be enrolled in a high deductible health plan (HDHP)(which I did know) but the employee cannot also be covered by any other non HDHP. In other words, if employee is covered as a dependent on spouse's plan that is non HDHP, then employee is not eligible.

The other interesting thing is that it's almost completely up to the employee to administer his/her own plan without the employer verifying compliance with rules. When employee submits for reimbursement from his/her HSA, if it's for an eligible medical expense then the reimbursement is tax free. If it's for any other reason, then the reimbursement is subject to tax and 10% penalty. But it's the employee who is indicating whether it's an eligible expense or not, not the employer, which is quite different from FSA's.

Anyone out there offering HSA's? To be honest, I was asked to look into these as a possible tax savings vehicle for highly paid executives. I know that at this point I will not recommend we implement - too many unanswered questions about ERISA and impact rates for non HDHP's when offering HDHP with HSA.


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  • "Not sure if this is appropriate here or not, since it's promoting another organization's material ..."

    Well, as long as we're plugging something, you'll want to check out the CD of an audio conference on the subject from M. Lee Smith Publishers. Titled "Mastering HSAs: New Cost-Reduction Strategy Explained," the audio conference can help you learn the benefits and avoid the risks associated with HSAs. Get the details on ordering the CD at [url]http://www.hrhero.com/conference/audio/health.shtml[/url]

    Tammy Binford
    Editor, M. Lee Smith Publishers, and this week's Forum moderator

  • For government employers, there is also a variation on this product called a retiree health savings (RHS) account, which allows tax-free contributions and reimbursements for health care expenses. It applies only to retirees, and may only be administered by ICMA. Any news on this product?????? I am just now having some exposure to it. Seems like a good deal for government types...but I don't know the details well enough to assess. Any info would be helpful.
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