Raising Women’s Voices

Health savings accounts haven’t caught on

Posted in Health Disparities, Insurance companies by raisingwomensvoices on July 31, 2008

Four years ago, the hot new idea for reining in health costs was the health savings account, a savings vehicle tied to a high-deductible insurance policy and designed to make patients more responsible for – and more aware of – the expenses involved.  The thinking was that such accounts would slow spiraling medical costs for both employers and consumers.

Today, with only 5 percent of the 114 million Americans covered at work opting for such health plans, their future is in question. In Texas, regarded as the birthplace of the HSA, only 387,000 people have signed up out of the 12 million with employer-provided insurance.  Proponents point to small companies – including some in Texas – that have used the lower-cost plans to offer coverage for the first time.

Meanwhile, critics argue that the plans benefit only the healthy and wealthy, with sick patients who can’t afford deductibles of more than $2,000 doing without care.  Under the 2003 federal law that established them, HSAs must be coupled with high-deductible health plans carrying at least a $1,050 deductible for an individual or $2,100 for a family.

Read more on the topic here.

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One Response

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  1. JD Preston said, on August 4, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    These accounts are not just for the wealthy etc. The reason they haven’t caught on is because no one understands them and providers do a very bad job of explaining them. http://www.ohiocar-insurance.com


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