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Catie Kawchak at the National Association of Manufacturers explains how legislation working its way through Congress would help manufacturers provide affordable health benefits to their employees.

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee has held a markup on bills to expand consumer-directed healthcare and lower the cost of health plans.  The measures would modernize health savings accounts (HSAs), delay the Cadillac tax on certain health plans beyond 2020, and repeal the employer mandate from the Affordable Care Act.

“The NAM appreciates efforts to advance these three key initiatives as manufacturers continue to cite rising healthcare costs as a primary business concern,” Kawchak writes. “Together, employees and employers are spending more on higher health insurance premiums. HSAs are a viable tool for employers and employees to absorb increased healthcare costs.”

HSAs, or tax-exempt savings accounts, allow for individuals to pay for eligible healthcare expenses and employees to have more control over their healthcare spending. Employers are increasingly offering consumer-driven high-deductible health plans that are paired with HSAs. Modernizing the rules governing HSAs would encourage savings for future healthcare expenses and provide the flexibility patients need to have greater control over their own healthcare decisions.

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