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Health Savings Accounts

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BUSINESS
By Janet Kidd Stewart and Janet Kidd Stewart,Chicago Tribune | December 3, 2006
Health-savings accounts are growing fast, and so are the amounts of tax-free money consumers can sock away in the fledgling plans. The relatively new accounts, created for use starting in 2004, allow users of high-deductible health insurance plans to open tax-free savings accounts. The idea is to put consumers more directly in charge of their medical spending by making them financially responsible for more of their care. Health-savings accounts are the plan's carrot, enticing consumers to go with lower-premium, high-deductible plans in exchange for contributing tax-deductible dollars into accounts that grow tax free and are withdrawn tax free if used for health care expenses.
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NEWS
By John Fritze and By John Fritze | September 6, 2014
Federal employees will be allowed to carry money on their health savings accounts into the next year following a months-long lobbying effort by Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland and other lawmakers in the region. Some 323,000 federal workers set aside a portion of their earnings, tax-free, in flexible spending accounts, or FSAs, to pay for health expenses. Until now, they have forfeited money not spent by the end of the year. The Office of Personnel Management announced last week that employees would be allowed to carry over up to $500 beginning in 2015.
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BUSINESS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | December 9, 2003
Probably no one was more surprised that Congress added tax breaks for health savings accounts to the new Medicare law than John C. Goodman, a conservative Texan who has been avidly promoting medical accounts for a decade. The measure, a favorite of Georgian Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, and Rep. Bill Thomas, a California Republican and chairman of the conference committee, was added to the bill, dropped and restored during negotiations. "People thought it would be gone at the end," Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a research group in Dallas, said yesterday as President Bush was signing the legislation.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | December 21, 2013
Senate Democrats are pressing the Office of Personnel Management to allow federal workers to carry over a portion of their health savings accounts into the next year. Roughly 322,700 federal employees are enrolled in the flexible spending accounts, or FSAs, which allow workers to set aside up to $2,500 of their income tax-free for health expenses each year. Until recently, workers were required to use all of the money in the account within the year or lose it. But in October, the Internal Revenue Service modified the program to allow workers to carry over $500 of their FSA balance into the new year.
BUSINESS
By Lorene Yue | May 30, 2004
The alphabet soup of health insurance and savings options has swelled by one, leaving many wondering how to spell relief. Approved in 2003 and launched this year, health savings accounts (HSAs) have joined the lineup of new ways to set aside money for medical costs such as health reimbursement accounts (HRA), flexible spending accounts (FSA) and medical savings accounts (MSA). While the health care and financial industries are still waiting for final rules from the Treasury Department, there is plenty of interest in HSAs.
NEWS
By PETER G. GOSSELIN and PETER G. GOSSELIN,LOS ANGELES TIMES | February 2, 2006
WASHINGTON -- When President Bush's critics would charge that the administration's health care policy - which emphasized tax-advantaged health savings accounts - was tilted in favor of the rich, supporters had an easy answer. They would point to a costly White House proposal to provide poor families with tax credits toward the purchase of medical insurance. Now that answer is no longer available. After making no progress winning congressional approval for the 10-year, $74 billion credit, administration officials have quietly revamped the measure in ways that would sharply reduce its costs and thereby offset the price tag for the White House's proposed expansion of health savings accounts.
BUSINESS
By SUZANNE COSGROVE and SUZANNE COSGROVE,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | October 23, 2005
When it comes to this fall's open-enrollment period, the watchword is "consumer-driven" health care. The trend embraces benefit options that allow employees to tailor their insurance coverage: Young, healthy workers may opt for minimal coverage and pay less, for example, while workers with families or chronic conditions may pick another kind of policy and pay more. In 2006 about a quarter of large employers will offer consumer-driven health plans, said David Stacey, a senior health-care consultant at Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Hewitt Associates.
NEWS
August 23, 2004
HEALTH INSURANCE premiums have risen four times faster than salaries at the same time that a growing economy has been struggling to replace the number and quality of jobs lost during the 2001 recession -- and we're still lagging about a million jobs behind. Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry believes there's a connection, and that seems self-evident. This nation's employer-based health insurance system has been increasingly challenged over the past decade to maintain benefits for current workers.
NEWS
February 20, 2013
Having watched Dr. Ben Carson's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on YouTube, I can accept his foray into politics because he has worked with people of all religions, and his scholarship fund has supported talented students regardless of race or religion ("Remarks vault Carson into the political arena," Feb. 18). Dr. Carson is a good man. Yet I am flummoxed by his railings against political correctness. Now that he is retiring, he is free to sound off, but I am sure that at Hopkins he practiced political correctness as assiduously as anyone, else he could not have survived there.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | December 21, 2013
Senate Democrats are pressing the Office of Personnel Management to allow federal workers to carry over a portion of their health savings accounts into the next year. Roughly 322,700 federal employees are enrolled in the flexible spending accounts, or FSAs, which allow workers to set aside up to $2,500 of their income tax-free for health expenses each year. Until recently, workers were required to use all of the money in the account within the year or lose it. But in October, the Internal Revenue Service modified the program to allow workers to carry over $500 of their FSA balance into the new year.
NEWS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | March 16, 2013
Johns Hopkins Hospital's Dr. Ben Carson, a conservative darling since he critiqued President Obama's health care overhaul at the National Prayer Breakfast last month, was met with several standing ovations at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday morning, feeding speculation that he may run for office. “In 106 days I will be retiring,” said the 61-year-old Carson, Hopkins' longtime director of pediatric neurosurgery. “I'd much rather quit when I'm at the top of my game.
NEWS
February 20, 2013
Having watched Dr. Ben Carson's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on YouTube, I can accept his foray into politics because he has worked with people of all religions, and his scholarship fund has supported talented students regardless of race or religion ("Remarks vault Carson into the political arena," Feb. 18). Dr. Carson is a good man. Yet I am flummoxed by his railings against political correctness. Now that he is retiring, he is free to sound off, but I am sure that at Hopkins he practiced political correctness as assiduously as anyone, else he could not have survived there.
NEWS
February 12, 2013
Dr. Benjamin Carson, the eminent Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon, has received much attention over the years not only for his skills in the operating room but for what he has achieved beyond it. For many Baltimoreans, his story is a familiar one - born in Detroit, raised in poverty by a single mother, he overcame much to not only become a Medal of Freedom winner but a benefactor to thousands of young people through his scholarship program....
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | April 10, 2011
Republicans in Congress, including Maryland Rep. Andy Harris, would require a woman's accountant — or perhaps an agent of the Internal Revenue Service — to be informed of the circumstances necessitating an abortion. Even when paying for the abortion with her own money, a woman would have to prove to her CPA or the IRS that she was the victim of rape or incest. Otherwise, she would have to forget about deducting the cost of the abortion as a medical expense. "Women who paid for an abortion using money saved in health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts would have to report the amount as taxable income, except in cases of rape or incest, or if the woman's life would be in danger," a website for accountants reported last week, after a vote by the House Ways and Means Committee.
NEWS
By Paul West, The Baltimore Sun | October 13, 2010
When he began his U.S. Senate run in Maryland last year, Eric S. Wargotz was largely unknown. He still is. Wargotz, 53, is the Republican nominee running against Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. The wealthy physician has put more than $500,000 of his own into the campaign, yet he risks being outspent by a ratio of more than 20-to-1. "You look at me, you say, 'My God, Eric, what are you, crazy?'" he recently told a tea party gathering in Montgomery County. "'How are you going to beat her with a couple hundred thousand versus a couple of million dollars?
NEWS
By Peter Beilenson and Ken Ulman | January 31, 2010
If comprehensive national health care reform can't pass with overwhelming Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and a strong Democrat in the White House, it is time to face facts. Instead of trying to impose complicated systemic change from above in Washington - as has been tried unsuccessfully in fits and starts for 100 years - it is time to encourage individual states to take up the endeavor. This idea was first suggested a decade ago by the visionary late Sen. Paul Wellstone.
NEWS
February 12, 2013
Dr. Benjamin Carson, the eminent Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon, has received much attention over the years not only for his skills in the operating room but for what he has achieved beyond it. For many Baltimoreans, his story is a familiar one - born in Detroit, raised in poverty by a single mother, he overcame much to not only become a Medal of Freedom winner but a benefactor to thousands of young people through his scholarship program....
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,Sun Reporter | October 12, 2007
ConnectYourCare, a Hunt Valley company that manages health plans linked to tax-sheltered savings accounts, has been sold to Express Scripts Inc., of St. Louis, the companies announced yesterday. The deal gives ConnectYourCare access to customers of Express Scripts, which manages prescription benefits. Both companies sell specialized management services to insurers, employers, administrators of self-insured plans, unions and governments. Express Scripts manages pharmacy benefits for about 50 million people and had revenue of $17.7 billion last year.
BUSINESS
By Janet Kidd Stewart and Janet Kidd Stewart,Chicago Tribune | December 3, 2006
Health-savings accounts are growing fast, and so are the amounts of tax-free money consumers can sock away in the fledgling plans. The relatively new accounts, created for use starting in 2004, allow users of high-deductible health insurance plans to open tax-free savings accounts. The idea is to put consumers more directly in charge of their medical spending by making them financially responsible for more of their care. Health-savings accounts are the plan's carrot, enticing consumers to go with lower-premium, high-deductible plans in exchange for contributing tax-deductible dollars into accounts that grow tax free and are withdrawn tax free if used for health care expenses.
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