WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) announced yesterday the Senate passed legislation he introduced that gives veterans and their families more freedom when saving for health care. The legislation passed by a vote of 91-4 and will now head to the president to be signed into law.
This legislation provides clarity and relief to veterans with a service-connected disability by allowing them to make contributions to a health savings account while receiving care at the VA. The funds in this account can also be used by the veteran’s family. At a time when the VA is struggling to provide veterans the service they need, the bill promises better access to health care and the ability to save for health care expenses.
Currently, an individual with a high deductible health plan and no other health plan is generally eligible to make tax deductible contributions to a health savings account (HSA). These HSA contributions are excludible from income and wages for employment tax purposes. However, under IRS guidance, veterans and their families are prohibited from making and/or receiving contributions to an HSA for three months after receiving health care services through the Veterans Administration.
The Helping Veterans Save for Health Care Act, would ensure an individual with a service related disability is eligible to contribute to a health savings account while he or she is receiving care at the VA for any period of time. The HSA can be used to pay for the cost of health care for the veteran, the veteran’s spouse or children.
The legislation has received strong support from veterans groups.