Congress Passes End-of-Year Omnibus That Includes NAHU-Supported Provisions
At the end of 2022, Congress passed a $1.7 trillion omnibus package that avoided a government shutdown. The massive spending package includes two major NAHU-supported provisions regarding telehealth and long-term care. Individuals will now be able to use existing retirement accounts to pay for long-term insurance. More specifically, the provision will permit individuals to pay up to $2,500 each year for long-term care insurance with their 401(k)s, 403(b)s and IRAs without a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty tax.
The package also includes a two-year extension of telehealth-related regulatory flexibilities put in place during the pandemic. In 2021, the CARES Act provided temporary relief during the pandemic by allowing HSA-qualified high-deductible health plans to cover telehealth services before reaching the deductible. It also allowed patients to choose and purchase telehealth services outside their HDHP without impacting their eligibility for an HSA. Prior to today’s bill, these flexibilities were set to expire at the end of 2022. Now, these waivers will remain in place through December 31, 2024. “As an insurance agent, it is important to be aware of how these legislative updates affect our clients. SAHU, CAHIP, and NAHU give agents the opportunity to be in the know and part of the change as it happens,” says Antonette Vanasek, SAHU Media Chair.
Other major health policies include a bipartisan deal to end the Medicaid policy that provided states with additional funding and barred them from kicking people off federally funded insurance, setting a new end date of April 1, 2023, instead of July 2023. This date change will have an impact on what has been dubbed the “Medicaid unwinding,” when nearly 85 million people enrolled in Medicaid will have their eligibility redetermined at the end of the public health emergency, triggering a high risk of coverage loss of eligible individuals.
In addition, the omnibus bill includes $1.5 billion in state grants for substance abuse prevention and treatment and several key investments to expand access to mental health, including grants for maternal mental health, the Community Health Service Block Grants and the Substance Use and Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Block Grants.
For over 30 years, SAHU has worked to improve our members’ ability to meet the health, financial and retirement security needs of all Californians and Americans through education, advocacy, and professional development. For more information, please visit: sahu-ca.com.