US House Bill Strengthens HSA Provisions

May 3, 2006 ( - A member of the US House of Representatives Republican leadership on Wednesday introduced a measure beefing up the nation's Health Savings Accounts (HSA).

Web site statement said that Chief Deputy Majority Whip Eric Cantor’s (R-Virginia) Tax-Free Health Savings Act (HR 5262) is designed to make HSAs more affordable and to increase the benefits they offer.

“For years, people in Washington have been looking for a solution to achieve universal health coverage,” Cantor said in the statement. “Rather than forcing a one-size-fits-all government program on workers and families, the Tax-Free Health Savings Act empowers individuals with making their own health care decisions.”

Cantor’s statement said that his proposal included provisions:

  • allowing employers to make greater HSA contributions for chronically ill employees,
  • providing an income tax credit equal to amount of payroll taxes paid on HSA-compatible insurance premiums,
  • providing an income tax credit equal to the amount of payroll taxes paid on HSA contributions,
  • increasing HSA contribution limits,
  • making premiums for HSA-compatible insurance tax-deductible,
  • providing a low-income tax credit for the purchase of HSA-compatible insurance,
  • allowing flexibility to coordinate HSAs with existing health coverage options like Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs),
  • allowing early retirees to use HSA savings to pay for insurance coverage premiums, and
  • providing pre-tax treatment of health care expenses incurred under HSA-compatible health plans before an individual establishes an HSA.

In a separate statement issued Wednesday Treasury Secretary John Snow endorsed Cantor’s proposal. “I‘m pleased that more employers are choosing to offer HSAs to their employees every day and I’m delighted to see Representative Cantor  introduce this bill to expand the opportunities offered by HSAs,” Snow said in the statement. “This bill would improve upon their structure, making HSAs even more useful and more likely to lower the number of uninsured Americans.”