The latest work-life information at IU
No. 56
February 2012

University Human Resources
Informed Employee

Use of the Health Savings Account (HSA)

Qualified Medical Expenses

Funds from the HSA can be used to pay for expenses that apply toward the HDHP annual deductible and copays and other qualified health expenses such as:

  • Eye exams, eyeglasses, contact lenses and solutions
  • Laser eye surgery
  • Hearing aids
  • Dental and orthodontia care
  • Physical therapy, speech therapy and chiropractic care
  • Acupuncture
  • Specialized equipment and devices for disabled persons
  • Transportation for medical care
  • Physician prescribed weight reduction programs for obesity
  • Insurance premiums such as long-term care, Medicare and COBRA

These expenses are eligible for any tax dependent whether or not covered under an IU-sponsored medical plan.

Chase Debit Card

Participants in the IU HDHP PPO & HSA receive a Chase debit card that can be used to withdraw HSA funds—up to the amount in the account—to pay for qualified medical expenses. The card can be used:

  • At doctors' offices, pharmacies and other locations where debit cards are accepted
  • At an ATM to reimburse oneself for qualified health expenses already paid (retain the receipts for tax purposes)

Participants can also create a Chase online account login to pay healthcare bills using online fund transactions. Chase also has a checkbook option to access HSA funds. There is no cost for debit card and online banking services; however, certain fees may apply for check writing services.

Use of Tax Saver Benefit (TSB)

When paired with the HSA, TSB funds cannot be used to meet the HDHP plan deductible. TSB reimbursements allowed include dental and vision expenses, and after the HDHP deductible is met, HSA funds can be used for medical expenses as well.



Diabetes is a Serious Disease

Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Diabetes increases the risk for many serious health problems, below of which are a few. With the correct treatment and recommended lifestyle changes, however, many people with diabetes are able to prevent or delay the onset of complications and disease.

High Blood Pressure

As many as 2 out of 3 adults with diabetes have high blood pressure (also called hypertension), which raises the risk for heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

Heart Attack and Stroke

People with diabetes have a higher-than-average risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Two out of 3 people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke (also called cardiovascular disease).

Kidney Disease (Nephropathy)

High blood sugar can overwork the kidneys, causing them to lose their ability to filter out waste products, resulting in kidney disease. Once kidneys fail, replacement therapy via dialysis or transplant is necessary.

Reprinted in part with permission of the American Diabetes Association



Tobacco Use and Health
Secondhand Smoke Costs Rise Sharply

An Indiana University study released January 9, 2012, found that the economic costs of secondhand smoke in the state are more than $1 billion a year—triple a previous estimate.

The study, conducted by the Bowen Research Center at the Indiana University School of Medicine, calculated that in 2010, each Hoosier paid $201 because of the cost of secondhand smoke. That comes to $1.3 billion a year­‑—about $327.1 million in direct healthcare costs and $977.5 million from premature loss of life.

Secondhand smoke increases an individual's risk of heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory illness and many other diseases. Nationally, it is estimated that more than half of all children ages 3 to 11 live in homes where they are exposed to secondhand smoke.

Source: Rudavsky, S. (2012, January 10).
Secondhand smoke costs rise sharply. The Indianapolis Star




Page updated: 21 February 2012
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