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Capital Hill Watch Alert

Health Savings Account Availability Act  (H.R. 2351)

The House of Representatives is expected to vote as early as Wednesday, June 25, 2003, on the Health Savings Account Availability Act  (H.R. 2351). (To view: Full text of legislation ).  The measure would help low-income, middle-income, and uninsured families gain greater access to quality health care by creating savings accounts for medical expenses. 

To pay for qualified medical expenses and increase consumer resources for families, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) would allow families to accumulate tax-free savings.  On prescription drug costs, retiree health insurance (after age 65, including Part B premiums), long term care services and insurance, COBRA coverage, and the costs of medical services could by paid for by HSA funds.  Also, to purchase insurance for those not receiving employer-provided coverage, HSA funds can used. Contributions and earnings belong to the accountholder, not an employer, and this is specified in the measure. Also, for use in paying medical expenses, HSA savings can be passed to spouses tax free. 

To be HSA eligible, accountholders and employers can make pre-tax contributions.  Also, up to $500 of unused balances from a Flexible Spending Account may be transferred tax-free to an HSA. Annual contributions for singles would be $2,000 and for families would be $4,000. 

Taxpayers who have incomes within the limits for deductible IRAs are eligible for HSA accounts like singles with up to $45,000 in income next year and up to $65,000 for joint filers and heads of household.   After 2004, the limits will expand under current law to $50,000 for singles and in 2007 to $80,000 for joint filers and heads of households. 

Account holders are required to be uninsured or have an insurance plan with a minimum deductible of $500 for singles ($1,000 for family coverage). 

What Can You Do?     

Urge your representative to SUPPORT the Health Savings Account Availability Act  (H.R. 2351) 

Contact Information:    

Capitol Hill Switchboard Numbers: 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 (Those numbers will direct you to the Capitol Hill operator. Ask for your representative's office.)

 To go to your representative's website, find his E-mail or to find out who your representatives are... http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.html    

To electronically mail your U.S. House of Representative, go to http://www.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep.   

Addressing Correspondence: 

The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515  

Dear Representative (last name):

 

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