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 that prohibits individuals that are receiving social security benefits from contributing to their HSA accounts.

Latta originally introduced this legislation last Congress after constituents who had been affected by the issue reached out to the Congressman’s office, according to a press release from his office.

The bill was included in legislation passed by the House last year, but it was not voted on in the U.S. Senate.

Under current law, once an individual begins to collect Social Security benefits, both they and their spouse are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A. They 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.

Latta’s legislation 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.

“Health Savings Accounts are becoming more and more popular as Americans are finding them helpful in meeting their health care needs,” Latta said. “Unfortunately, provisions included in Obamacare and other health care legislation often make it unnecessarily difficult to contribute to or use an HSA. After hearing from constituents, I’ve introduced the Stop Penalizing Working Seniors Act. This legislation will make HSAs easier to use by fixing the technicality that prohibits individuals that are receiving Social Security benefits from contributing to their HSAs. I’ll continue to work on health care policies that lower costs and increase options for patients.”

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, currently with the number of Americans with HSAs at over 21 million.

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