Trump-O-Meter

Create a health savings account

"Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate."


Updates

President Donald Trump celebrates passage of major tax legislation but health savings accounts supporters say it held no changes for them. (AP)
President Donald Trump celebrates passage of major tax legislation but health savings accounts supporters say it held no changes for them. (AP)

No change in Health Savings Account rules

Health Savings Accounts allow people to save and invest with several tax advantages. They don't pay taxes on the dollars they put in, and so long as they spend the money on health care, there's no tax on the gains when they make a withdrawal.

Personal health finance experts told us that President Donald Trump's promise had them scratching their heads when he first listed it on his campaign website. These tax-free accounts have been around since 2004, and they already could accumulate.

So the promise involved expanding these accounts by letting people put more money into them -- the current yearly limit is $6,750 -- or passing new rules that could increase the number of people eligible to invest this way.

Either way, so far, there has been no movement. Not in the recently passed tax overhaul, nor anywhere else.

"The bottom line is that there are no HSA provisions in the tax law and despite interest by members of Congress and the administration to make some changes, nothing has happened," said Paul Fronstin with the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a research group funded by pension funds, unions, investment firms, benefits consultants and others.

Pat Jarrett, the founder of Health Savings Administrators, a company that sells HSAs, echoed that.

"There's been a lot of rhetoric and a lot of talk, but nothing has changed," Jarret told us.

We reached out to the White House and did not hear back.

Given the lack of movement on this promise, we rate it Stalled.

 

Sources:

Donald J. Trump website health care reform page

Internal Revenue Service, Health Savings Accounts and other tax-favored health plans, Feb. 12, 2017

Interview, Paul Fronstin, director, Health Research and Education Program, Employee Benefit Research Institute, Dec. 19, 2017

Interview, Pat Jarrett, co-founder, Health Savings Administrators, Dec. 21, 2017