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DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority Votes to Require Health Plans to Offer Health Savings Account Compatible Plans in 2018

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Washington, DC — Today, the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX) Executive Board voted to require health insurance companies selling individual health insurance coverage to offer Health Savings Account (HSA) compatible plans at the bronze level in 2018. In addition, CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente, the insurers selling individual coverage through DC Health Link, voluntarily committed to offering HSA-compatible plans at the gold level in 2018.

This Board action was in response to a decision by one insurer to stop offering HSA-compatible plans for the 2017 plan year. HBX heard from customers who were opposed to the elimination of a plan design they felt worked best for them. Using its community-based approach, the HBX Standard Plans Working Group, which was already meeting to modify the standard plan designs for 2018, analyzed whether HBX should amend its rules to require the offering of HSA plans at any of the various metal levels of coverage.

“Even when there is a demand for certain products like HSA compatible plans, the supply side does not always work,” said Mila Kofman, J.D., Executive Director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority. “Today’s actions show that appropriate intervention is necessary, both new requirements on insurers and closely working with insurers, to get the best results for our customers.”

“I appreciate the irony of an ACA state-based marketplace mandating a health plan design favored by free-market advocates,” stated HBX Executive Board Member and HSA proponent Kate Sullivan Hare. "With these plans now a guaranteed option for District residents in 2018, I plan to ensure consumers are aware of the best strategies to manage health care spending and set aside tax-advantaged dollars to meet their health needs not just in 2018, but for years to come."

HBX Executive Board Member Leighton Ku chaired the Standard Plans Advisory Working Group. The report of that working group can be found here.

The resolution adopted by the HBX Executive Board can be viewed here.