When the U.S. Senate unveils its bill to replace Obamacare Thursday, it's fair to expect the legislation will seek to expand the benefits of health savings accounts.
Senate Republicans plan to unveil the text of their draft health-care bill as senators struggle over issues such as the future of the Medicaid program for the poor and bringing down insurance costs.
An estimated 23 million people could lose their health care under the House plan, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
"Most of the debate in the Senate is around the Medicaid and tax credit pieces of the legislation," said Steve Wojcik, vice president of public policy at the National Business Group on Health, which advocates for large employers. "The HSA enhancements are not very controversial and no one has really spoken out against them."
HSAs, introduced in 2003 during President George W. Bush's administration, offer you triple tax advantages: First, contributions are tax-deductible. Second, those contributions can be invested and grow tax-free. Third, withdrawals aren't taxed as long as you use them for qualified medical expenses, such as doctor's visits, prescription drugs and dental care.
"It's [the] best tax-advantaged vehicle to save for medical expenses and for other expenses in retirement," said John Young, senior vice president of consumerism at Alegeus, a technology company that helps employers provide HSAs to their workers.
For example, while 401(k) plan contributions are subject to the FICA tax, which funds Social Security and Medicare, the money you put into an HSA is not.