WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, has introduced legislation, the Stop Penalizing Working Seniors Act, to expand access to health savings accounts and fix a technicality prohibiting individuals who are receiving social security benefits from contributing to their HSA accounts, according to a news release.

Health Savings Accounts allow individuals to make tax-free contributions and use the money for qualified medical expenses. In order to contribute to an HSA, an individual must be combined with a High Deductible Health Plan. The Employee Benefit Research Institute shows a steady growth of HSA enrollment. The HSA Database contained 11.4 million accounts with total assets of $32.9 billion as of Dec. 31, 2020.

“After hearing from constituents and learning of their difficulties when trying to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), I introduced the Stop Penalizing Working Seniors Act to make HSAs easier to use,” Latta said. “In Congress, we should be pursuing health care policies that work to increase options for patients and lower costs. With this bill, we would be removing unnecessary barriers people have to work through in order to contribute to or use an HSA.”

Latta originally introduced this legislation during the 115th Congress after constituents who had been affected by the issue reached out to the Congressman’s office.

Under current law, once an individual begins to collect Social Security benefits, they are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A. They, and their spouse, are then disqualified from making any contribution to their HSA account. In the case of Latta’s constituents, one spouse was still working. They ended up having to keep their high-deductible health insurance plan while being prohibited from making contributions to their HSA.

The Stop Penalizing Working Seniors Act would remove the prohibition on contributions to an HSA if an individual is enrolled solely in Medicare Part A. Medicare Part A covers hospital care.

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