What is H.R. 3708?
H.R. 3708 (the “Primary Care Enhancement Act of 2019”) is a bill that would allow for an individual with a direct primary care service arrangement to also participate in and contribute to a health savings account (HSA).
Under current rules, direct primary care arrangements are considered “significant medical coverage” and, as such, disqualify someone from participating and contributing to an HSA. This bill would change the rules to make DPC benefits compatible with an HSA - in addition to allowing HSA account holders to pay for DPC membership fees with tax-advantaged HSA dollars.
Why is H.R. 3708 and its Senate Companion Bill, S. 2999 Important
A growing number of employers offer HSAs and the required insurance plan (a qualified high-deductible health plan) as an option or an exclusive health benefits plan to employees. HSAs are intended to help employees and their families manage the out-of-pocket, pre-deductible exposure associated with the HDHP - where HSA funds can be used to cover out-of-pocket costs incurred before the deductible amount has been met.
Because DPC employs a similar strategy - by managing and capitating costs associated with a fixed set of healthcare services - it is a perfect complement to the HSA for healthcare consumers.
Unfortunately, because the current rules prohibit contributing to an HSA while participating in a DPC arrangement, employers cannot contemplate offering DPC as a benefit option to employees if they also offer an HSA/HDHP plan design. Needless to say, this has been a major barrier to the expansion of DPC, and a huge source of frustration for employers.
Passage of H.R. 3708 and S. 2999 would effectively solve this problem and immediately open up DPC to a large segment of the group market for whom the model is not available, currently.
Why We Support H.R. 3708 and S. 2999
H.R. 3708 is one of the only pieces of healthcare legislation to have achieved broad bipartisan support, having already passed through the House, and, critically, having been voted unanimously through the House Ways and Means Committee.
It is rare in Congress and even more rare where healthcare legislation is concerned, to have an issue achieve such vocal support from both sides of the aisle. We are confident that if employers and other stakeholders continue to reaffirm their support for H.R. 3708, it will be signed into law, and become a meaningful and positive step forward in fixing some of the flaws in our healthcare system.
Who Supports H.R. 3708?