the leading nonprofit organization promoting choice in benefit
solutions, today submitted testimony to the House Ways and Means
Subcommittee on Health. The hearing, “Lowering Costs and Expanding
Access to Health Care through Consumer-Directed Health Plans” will
examine trends in enrollment and demographics for health spending
account holders and the benefits of consumer-directed health care. It
will also examine policies designed to give more consumers access to
tax-favored savings accounts, including Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
is dedicated to preserving and expanding employer-provided
tax-advantaged benefit choices for working Americans, including
account-based benefit plans which provide benefits in areas such as
for the Record to the Subcommittee.
In the statement, ECFC cited the National
Center for Health Statistics’ report, that states many employers are
moving toward higher deductible health plans or plans that increase the
cost sharing amounts borne by employes. Consequently, ECFC stated,
“consumer-directed benefit arrangements, such as FSAs, HRAs and HSAs,
are of increasing importance to American workers.”
Legislation Needed to Expand Consumer-Directed health Plans
In the statement, ECFC stated, “Today, health care is the main burden on
family budgets and can cripple their ability to remain independent and
productive members of the workforce and their communities. ECFC
membership believes that HSAs and FSAs should be expanded in the market
place to provide families and individuals with the ability to manage
their health costs and decrease the financial burden that results from
an unexpected and expected health care crisis.”
Legislation supported by ECFC includes:
H.R. 5138, the Bipartisan HSA Improvement Act introduced by Reps.
Mike Kelly (R-PA) and co-authored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) with
Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Ron Kind (D-WI), Terri Sewell (D-AL).
Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) as co-sponsors. This bill makes changes
to the rules surrounding HSAs and FSAs that we believe will make HSAs
and FSAs more widely available. ECFC supports the intent of this bill
and looks forward to working with the authors of this bill to make
sure that its changes can be readily administered by plan sponsors and
H.R. 1175, the Health Savings Act introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen
with Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) as co-sponsors.
ECFC supports this bill, which will address many of the issues
surrounding HSAs that inhibit the growth of HSAs.
H.R. 1204, the Responsible Additions and Increases to Sustain
Employe Health Benefits Act of 2017 introduced by Rep. Steve Stivers
(R-OH) with 38 co-sponsors. This bill would increase the annual
limit on employe salary reduction contributions to $5,000, with an
additional $500 for each additional employe (as adjusted for
inflation after 2017) and allow a carryforward into the next year for
unused amounts. ECFC supports this bill since it recognizes that FSAs
provide an important tax-efficient means for employes (especially low
and middle-income employes) to budget for their health care expenses
and provides for an expansion of opportunities for employes to use an
FSA to budget for payment of their health care expenses.
ECFC is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and
expanding employe benefit programs on a tax-advantaged basis. ECFC
represents and promotes employe benefit programs through effective
lobbying and provides education and awareness to members, compensation
practitioners, national opinion leaders and the general public to help
advance healthcare consumerism. ECFC, which was founded in 1981 as the
Employers Council on Flexible Compensation, is the single organization
that focuses its efforts on preserving, protecting and defending the
tax-advantaged programs currently available to working families through
employer plan sponsors.
Christine Linder, 314-827-0600 x 11