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Jan
29

HSAs – what’s the point?

There are several missing points in the ongoing debates about HSAs.
1. Much of the adoption of HSAs has been due to employers eliminating their other plans in favor of CDHP-HSA plans. So, the argument that individuals are jumping on the bandwagon is a little disingenuous.
2. Employers are dumping their regular plans (well, a few are, most are not) because they can’t afford to buy health insurance for their workers any more. And a big part of the reason they can’t is because of cost-shifting from the uninsured to the insured. The uninsured get care, they just don’t pay for it. see https://www.joepaduda.com/archives/000395.html for more on this.
3. The larger employers who are offering HSAs are seeing very low adoption rates. IBM has been offering them for over two years, and less than 3% of eligibles have signed up.
The real issue is how much drag on the US economy is a result of our present funding mechanism for health care. Clearly health care costs play a role in the industrial competitiveness of US companies; the HSA-CDHP debate merely clouds the overall issue – if we don’t get our act together we will get our economic butt kicked.


Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates

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A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.

 

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