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Congressman Gonzalez introduces bill to reshape health savings programs, put health care in the hands of families

U.S. Congressman Anthony Gonzalez (R-Rocky River) has introduced the Family First Medisave Empowerment Act to offer a personal medical savings – or Medisave – account to every American and their family. The bill would re-center America’s health care system around individuals and families and help more American families to save and pay for their care tax-free.

“Too many Americans are struggling to afford their medical care, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only served to highlight the serious flaws in our health care system,” said Congressman Gonzalez. “We need to do more to provide families flexibility and control over how their healthcare dollars are spent. With patients in charge, we can drive down costs and force insurers and providers to compete on quality and affordability.”

H.R. 8473, the Family First Medisave Empowerment Act, simplifies tax-advantaged accounts for health care expenses by merging Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA), and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) into one simple, and easy to use Medisave account (MDA) that is owned by individuals and families rather than employers. Unlike HSAs today, Medisave accounts would be available to anyone with private insurance, regardless of their deductible, as well as to those on Medicare and Medicaid. The bill expands upon the Department of Health and Human Services HRA rule by permitting individuals to use their Medisave accounts towards the purchase of any type of insurance from their employer, their spouse’s employer, or health insurance marketplace. It also takes important steps to offer financial support to lower-income Americans by offering a one-time refundable federal tax credit of up to $1,000 to low-income individuals who open an account and establishing a new waiver for states to support their most vulnerable populations – refocusing dollars currently going to health insurers and converting them into Medisave distributions made directly to low-income individuals and families.

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