GA Governor Signs HSA Bills

May 9, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - As part of legislative measures signed into law this week, Georgia small businesses can take a state tax credit for enrolling employees in a Health Saving Account (HSA) plan.

A news release from Georgia Governor   Sonny Perdue said he signed Senate Bill 383 and House Bill 977, which Perdue said made High Deductable Health Plans (HDHP) paired with Health Savings Accounts (HSA) more affordable and available in the Peach State insurance market.

According to the news announcement, the House measure:

  • Provides an annual $250 tax credit for small employers (fewer than 50 workers) spending at least $250 annually to enroll their workers in an HSA plan,
  • GivesGeorgians a state income tax deduction equal to their premium payments for an HSA plan,
  • Exempts insurers from state premium taxes for the sale of high deductible health plans with HSAs,

  • Allows the Insurance Commissioner to fast track the approval of HSA plans,

  • Exempts HSA plans from the ban on rebates, and

  • Allows insurers to reward their members who enroll in an HSA plan for healthy lifestyle changes.

Meanwhile, the Senate measure states that Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)-only plans that are not sold with or packaged with individual health insurance policies are not considered insurance. The bill also mandates that HSA plans must comply with the consumer choice option under current Georgia law, allowing the insured person will be able to choose any willing provider if the person pays any increase in premiums.

“This legislation encourages more consumer choice by making quality, affordable health care coverage more available,” said Perdue, in the announcement. “More insured citizens means lower costs for all taxpayers, and preventative care means a healthier population. It will also allow small business owners to provide low cost health insurance to employees and their families.”

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