Press Releases

(Washington, DC) – Recently, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) teamed with U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) to introduce S. 3356, legislation permitting individuals eligible for Indian Health Service assistance to qualify for health savings accounts. This bipartisan legislation allows beneficiaries under the Indian Health Service to readily access funds in their health savings account (HSA). Currently, there is a three-month lag time in a beneficiary’s ability to contribute or use those dollars. This bill allows money in a beneficiary’s HSA to be accessed immediately. 

“With 13.5 million Americans already using health savings accounts, tribes should be afforded the same flexibility to off-set growing out of pocket healthcare costs. Patients of the Indian Health Services Program in Nevada already experience limited access to critical health services. There is no reason why these same patients must experience a lag time to access and use their HSAs. This bipartisan legislation allows for immediate access to HSA funds for important services like maternity care, vision and dental care, and mental health services. I’d like to thank my colleague Senator Heitkamp for her leadership in joining to make healthcare more affordable for local tribes utilizing the Indian Health Service program,” said Senator Dean Heller.

“Every American deserves access to quality health care, but too often, that’s not the reality on the ground for folks who have received Indian Health Service care,” said Senator Heidi Heitkamp. “There is no reason why, after receiving care from IHS, Native families should have to pay out of pocket instead of using the health savings accounts they have paid for when they seek care at non-IHS facilities. That’s why I’m working with Senator Heller on a bipartisan, commonsense solution. By upholding our trust responsibility to guarantee access to IHS care, and making sure Native communities can access their health savings accounts – regardless of the facility – we can make sure every American can access the same level of health service.”

 

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