Health savings accounts (HSA) were created in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, allowing individuals to combine a tax-free savings account with a high deductible health insurance plan. Research shows that most people (46%) who have HSAs are lower-middle class Americans who are trying to keep their medical costs down by having more control over their health care decisions while still being covered for unexpected, long term medical needs, should they arise.
A Manhattan Institute study conducted in February of 2009 concluded that most individuals with HSAs do not use all the money put aside for health care costs; therefore, their health care costs were less than originally expected. What is even better is that the money left in the HSA rolls over into the next year. The Manhattan Institute study also concluded that the health insurance plans approved to work with HSAs have extremely lower premiums compared to traditional health insurance plans, while still providing quality benefits.
Sounds like a great option, right?
Well, this relatively new health care option may no longer be able to survive if legislators abort HSAs! If our government really wants to provide a health care option that allows Americans to pay lower health insurance premiums by having more transparency, competition, and choice (as stated by our President); then HSAs are the answer. Yet, if HSAs are not accepted as a “qualified” health insurance choice, as decided by our government officials; then the flexibility and personal control offered by HSAs will cease to exist as a viable health insurance option. Legislators need to look closely at the health reform bill recently passed in the Senate to make sure that HSAs are not aborted in the fine print.