The contributions are pre-tax and the earnings are tax-free, as well as withdrawals for medical purposes.
Employers are opting for HDHP plans because studies show that they better control costs and change employee behavior, according to the PEBC representative.
Nationally, 53 percent of companies had adopted such plans by 2011 — 61 percent in the Dallas/Fort Worth area — according to a survey completed by Towers Watson.
If Parker County makes no changes to their current insurance plans, Towers Watson projects that in 2018, when the excise tax takes effect, the county will owe $750,000 in taxes, which would grow to $2 million in 2023.
Judge Mark Riley pointed out that additionally, the new health care law will require the county to pay compliance fees of about $52,000 — for its nearly 800 employees and dependents — in 2014.