Part of the reconciliation process would expand health savings account spending options to include vitamins and supplements
Last year chiropractic spending from Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) increased 20% according to a wide-ranging survey of 50,000 account holders offering data anonymously from the Lively HSA platform.
Chiropractic spending in 2019 was 2.5% of total spending, and last year when the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. was announced in March, chiropractic spending rose 20% to 3% of total health savings account spending.
“This can be attributed to COVID-19 causing an increase in sheltering in place and work-from-home conditions,” Lively wrote in its 3rd annual HSA Spend Report. “These conditions have likely caused an increase in pain related to a sedentary lifestyle and poor work-from-home set-ups. Also, with increased knowledge of the opioid epidemic, non-drug approaches to pain relief, especially for back pain, are an increasingly popular option for people looking for relief.”
The report also notes:
- An estimated 7.3 million workers and dependents lost employer-sponsored health insurance because of the pandemic-induced recession
- Between 2019-20, the average annual premiums for single and family coverage increased by 4% (faster than inflation)
- Driven by rising health care costs, employers are increasingly moving to high-deductible health care plans (HDHPs), and employee adoption is increasing
- Between 2007-18 the percentage of people with private health insurance, under 65 and enrolled in an HDHP, grew from 17.4% to 46%
In 2020 doctors visits, hospital visits, lab work and dental spending all decreased due to the report, while there were large spending increases for prescriptions (+32%) and chiropractic care (+20%).
“Once the pandemic is behind us we predict that the cost and share of hospital care will continue to increase,” the report notes. “The reason? The average hospital stay costs over $1,000 out-of-pocket. The average industry health savings account spending per debit card transaction is $106. While there are more doctor visits and services than hospital stays, the 10x diference in cost per experience accounts for the diferences.
“It was an abnormal year for health care and whether or not these trends will stick is to be seen.”
For more info or to view the report go to Livelyme.com.
In other HSA news, Vitamin Retailer reported this month that an amendment included in the U.S. Senate’s budget resolution as part of the reconciliation process would expand health savings account spending options, health reimbursement arrangements and flexible spending accounts (FSA) to cover dietary supplements.
The effort comes as evidence over the last year suggests a link between vitamin D deficiency and serious COVID-19 illnesses.
“Expanding access to supplements benefits everyone, not only as we turn the corner in this pandemic but also in the long run,” said Daniel Fabricant, PhD, president and CEO of the Natural Products Association. “We urge our members to contact their elected officials and let them know how important this common-sense change is to the health of millions of Americans.”