Family physician, author, blogger, speaker, physician leader.

HSA

A HSA, which stands for Health Savings Account, is a relatively new tool for individuals and families to pay for their ever-mounting health care expenses. HSA was signed into law by President Bush and became available in 2004.  HSAs, like many other accounts such as 401(k)s and dependent care expenses use pre-tax dollars to fund future expenses, which are retirement and day care costs respectively.  HSAs are used to cover high deductible health insurance costs and qualified healthcare expenses.  How high the deductible must be and what medical costs are considered qualified is defined by the IRS.

HSA Health Insurance

HSA insurance plans save both the employee and employer money as they must be linked to a high deductible insurance plan.  High deductible insurance plans have smaller premiums.  While many healthcare policy experts feel that HSA insurance will decrease medical costs as patients are more responsible for paying for their health, it is unclear if they know which tests and procedures to do in order to stay well and which ones to skip.

Critical Concerns

Critics are concerned that patients are forgoing preventive, cost effective care which will ultimately result in much higher costs because of the high deductibles.  Americans already have very low rates of saving.  Will they save enough money for future healthcare costs?  Only time will tell.  What is clear is that more employers are substituting traditionally comprehensive health insurance plans with HSA insurance.

HSA health insurance.  Is it a good idea?  Is one in your future?  Do you know what you need to do stay healthy?  Given a choice between a comprehensive health insurance plan and one linked to a HSA, which one is better?  More importantly, are you ready to choose?

Find out more about Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and other vital information in Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely: Making Intelligent Choices in America’s Healthcare System.

 

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