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Panel Discussion: New Perspectives on HSAs

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019
  • 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Stoel Rives, LLP 760 SW 9th Ave, Suite 3000, Portland, OR 97205


Registration is closed

Panel Discussion:  New Perspectives on HSAs

A Health Savings Account is a complicated and wonderful tool that allows employees to pay for medical expenses with tax-free dollars.  Although HSAs make healthcare and medicine more affordable for consumers, they are not appropriate for all employers.  Sometimes other tax-free and tax-deferred vehicles are a better option for delivering reduced healthcare costs.  And, employers sponsoring HSAs must carefully navigate myriad IRS and Department of Labor compliance rules on HSAs.  Please join us on the evening of February 12 at Stoel Rives, LLP as our panel of experts explain when an HSA is the right choice for an employer while attempting to simplify the complex statutory and regulatory framework surrounding HSAs.

Our Panelists

Garth Rouse

Garth Rouse, owner of Garth T. Rouse and Associates, a life and health agency in Salem, Oregon, and former owner of Professional Benefit Services, Inc., a third party administration firm, has spoken at various venues on a variety of subjects mostly having to do with employee benefits (125, 401k, Transportation, HRAs, HSAs, etc.).  He has also served on numerous boards including non-profits and eight years on the school board for the Cascade School District. Garth's hobbies include attending Oregon State athletic events, traveling and spending time with his four grandchildren.  

Vanessa Lyons

Vanessa Lyons, Manager of National Accounts, Labor & Trust with Regence, has more than 20 years of experience within benefits sales and management.  At Regence she currently manages the Oregon team of Account Executives responsible for supporting our largest employer groups and their consulting partners.  These employers are both fully-insured and self-funded and include a mix of public entities, private business, union trusts and associations.  Prior to joining Regence, Vanessa spent 18 years as an employee benefits consultant.  Her career in consulting's focused on large, self-funded and multi-state employers.  The expertise developed over almost two decades of working closely with employers provides a unique perspective on the challenges faced in today's marketplace. Vanessa earned her Bachelor of Science from Portland State University.

Kara Backus

Kara Backus, an attorney with Bullard Law, practices exclusively in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation.  She has experience with qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare benefit plans, executive compensation issues and the employee benefits aspects of mergers and acquisitions.  Kara volunteers her time with the Oregon Retirement Savings Board and is the former President of the Portland Chapter Western Pension & Benefits Council.  In her free time, Kara enjoys walking, hiking and gardening.

The event will be held at Stoel Rives. Wine, beer, and appetizers will be from 5:00 p.m to 5:30 p.m., and the panel discussion will be from 5:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m.

Registration is free for members and $50 for non-members.

Professional accreditation credits include: AIF, ASPPA, CFP, CLE Oregon State Bar, CPE for CPAs, CEBS, ERPA, NIPA and SHRM.

Mark you calendars for these upcoming WP&BC Portland Chapter events!

March 7, 2019

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Plan Fee Disclosures 

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

Location:  Moss Adams

April 25, 2019

WP&BC Spring Conference 

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Location:  Oregon Convention Center

Please feel free to reach out to WP&BC with any questions.

Direct Questions To:


(503) 928-8780

1819 SW 5th Ave. #211
Portland, OR 97201

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