WASHINGTON, DC — A final Medicare bill soon to be voted on by Congress has been stripped of women-friendly reforms that would deliver trillions — yes, trillions — of new dollars for retiree health needs by 2030.

“Health Savings Security Accounts are crucial to women both now and in their retirement,” said Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) President Nancy Pfotenhauer. “We need to act now to give women access to affordable coverage that puts them in control of their medical decisions, and enables them to save for their future health needs.”

A forthcoming study by IWF on women and health insurance estimates House-passed reforms to allow Americans to put aside tax-free savings for their medical needs would enable Americans to save $243 billion to $365 billion over the next ten years in personal health accounts.

By 2030, the mid-point of the baby boomers’ retirement years, Americans’ medical savings could reach $3 trillion primarily due to Health Savings Security Accounts.

“Women live longer than men do and have greater medical needs in retirement,” said Pfotenhauer. “When it eliminated Health Savings Security Accounts, Congress seriously weakened the Medicare bill and deprived millions of women a more secure retirement.”

According to the study, the House of Representatives approved two types of tax-preferred savings accounts for medical expenses as part of a Medicare reform bill — Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Health Savings Security Accounts (HSSAs). These accounts would aid Medicare reform by holding down medical inflation and by helping Americans save for their future medical needs.

Congressional negotiators kept HSAs but have dropped the more women-friendly HSSAs from the final Medicare bill.

“Denying women this opportunity to save for their future health needs seriously undermines the case for this bill,” said Pfotenhauer.