Today, Representative Erik Paulsen (MN-03), member of the Ways and Means Committee, introduced legislation to simplify and enhance the benefits available to Minnesotans who use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) as part of their health care coverage portfolio. Paulsen's legislation, the Family and Retirement Health Investment Act, makes common-sense reforms to ensure Minnesota families and consumers have the ability to use the money they put aside for their own healthcare needs. The legislation also includes a provision to do away with the unpopular "use it or lose it' rule for FSAs.
"With health care costs on the rise, Congress should be taking steps to make it easier for Americans to save, not limit their options," said Rep. Paulsen. "HSAs and FSAs are a great way for seniors to plan for expenses that Medicare won't cover and for families to plan for health expenses like braces or glasses. I am proud to introduce a common-sense bill that helps Minnesotans retain control of their own healthcare needs."
These consumer-directed health plans are increasing in popularity as families and businesses look for ways to maintain quality coverage at a lower cost. The number of Americans with HSA coverage rose to more than 13.5 million in 2012, up from 11.4 million in 2011, including nearly half a million Minnesotans. Consumers in these plans are more likely to seek out cost and quality information about health care providers, seek out preventative care, and be engaged in their own healthcare.