Senator Cruz and Rep. Roy: During the Pandemic, We Need More Health Care Flexibility

From The National Review:

When the Health Savings Account law passed in 2003, the release of the first iPhone was still four years away. Now, imagine your iPhone, Samsung, or Android phone was prohibited by law to have any upgrades. How well do you think your phone would work? How well could it adapt if a vicious computer virus began to infect phones across the world?

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are facing a similar situation today. Since their inception, Congress has barely updated them to keep up with the times. As a result, Americans must still abide by an out-of-date mandate that only allows them to qualify for an HSA if it is paired with a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).

We should permanently abolish this mandate.

While new health-care delivery systems have come along and new health plan designs have evolved for two decades, current law doesn’t allow HSAs to benefit from most of these new designs due to the original HDHP requirement. For example, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had to rush to create an emergency notice to allow COVID-19 testing and treatment to be a free benefit for the millions of Americans with an HSA-eligible HDHP. In its notice, the IRS explained that in this instance, HDHPs can pay for testing and treatment related to COVID-19 without risking their status as an HDHP. The IRS also clarified that this means “that an individual with an HDHP that covers these costs may continue to contribute to a health savings account (HSA).”

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