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Treasury-SBA website helps with HSA info
WASHINGTON (9/16/08)—A new government website has been established to provide information on health savings accounts (HSAs), the tax-advantaged accounts created in 2003 that individuals may use to pay for medical expenses that are not reimbursed. The U.S. Treasury Dept. and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), announcing their website partnership last week, said that many employees who work for small businesses find their companies are unable to sponsor health insurance plans. “Many of these employees can benefit from the affordability and flexibility of HSAs and HSA-eligible health plans,” noted the agencies’ release. For instance, such expenses as co-pays, deductibles, and other products and services not covered by one’s insurance plan could be deducted from pre-tax income. The new website is designed to present the advantages of HSAs and to provide comparisons to other health coverage options. It offers other materials to help employers and individuals determine whether and how to enroll in HSA-eligible coverage and how to save for health care costs through an HAS. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) supported creation of these accounts in the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, to give individuals more flexibility and control over the payment of their health care costs. CUNA has noted that credit union members benefit from these accounts and often urge their credit unions to offer them if they don’t already do so. Credit unions, in turn, benefit from offering HSAs because of the additional deposits that follow as a result. There are nearly seven million Americans currently covered by HSAs and CUNA supports the expansion of HSAs as a way of providing credit union members with a way to build wealth while also better managing personal medical costs. CUNA also supports an aggressive effort to encourage credit unions to offer HSAs, as only 600 credit unions currently offer these accounts. Use the resource links below to access more HSA information and to visit the Treasury-SBA website.
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