Don’t Blame the HSA

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Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, any time you are getting a tax deduction to save money (in the case of the HSA for your health care expenses) it is a win, win situation.

Long before there were Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), people were buying High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) to save on their health insurance premiums. High income people would buy the HDHP because they saved money up front and if they got sick they could afford to pay out the higher deductible. Low income people bought the HDHP because that was what they could afford to make sure they were covered with health insurance. Many Americans are now discovering they can refinance their health insurance to higher deductible insurance plans to save money on their premiums; offset the deductible with tax-deductible savings, and the benefits of an HSA.

Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, any time you are getting a tax deduction to save money (in the case of the HSA for your health care expenses) it is a win, win situation.

Everyday there are so- called “think tanks” with reports why HSAs are bad. The California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has published two reports blasting HSAs on his website http://www.insurance.ca.gov/. In his August 2005 report, he mentions that “premiums for private coverage have soared 60% in the past four years” in California under his watch. But this is not an HSA problem--- HSAs are just the savings tool, and higher-deductible plan premiums have risen at a far smaller rate.

Are health insurance premiums overpriced? Just look at the earnings reports of the major health insurance companies over the last few years. Here are some recent earning headlines: “WellPoint Inc. nearly tripled its fourth-quarter profits”, “Aetna Inc. posted a 41 percent jump in quarterly earnings on higher health plan enrollment” and “UnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation's second-largest health insurer, said fourth-quarter profit climbed almost 18 percent as revenue rose 15 percent and as it added 3.6 million new customers”.

Making premiums for HSA-compatible insurance policies deductible from income taxes when purchased by individuals outside of work would drop the average person’s health care expenses by approximately 25%. Allowing Americans to shop health insurance policies across state lines will also bring more competitive health insurance pricing.

Drug companies offer free or greatly discounted drug programs for low income people. We invite insurance companies to do the same.

There is much that should be done, and it will take time to make sure all Americans have affordable health care. Continuing with the President’s health care proposals and expanding the HSA program will benefit millions of Americans in the long run. "We talk with real people on a daily basis at HSA Trustee Services, and we hear their health care concerns. We know the HSA program is working" said Tim Morales founder of HSA Trustee Services.

Thirty years ago the IRA was invented and has helped millions of Americans save for retirement. After just two years, the HSA program is already helping Americans save for health care expenses and will be helping millions more in the future.

About HSA Trustee Services

HSA Trustee Services is a nationwide provider specializing in opening and servicing Health Savings Accounts (HSA) for individuals, families and groups since the inception of the HSA program in January 2004. HSA Trustee Services offers their exclusive “HSA Rx Card” for further savings on prescriptions drugs. For more information on this program, or the other benefits of using HSA Trustee Services, please call 866-HSA-2010 or visit the website at http://www.hsatrusteeservices.com. HSA Trustee Services is dedicated to “Keeping the $avings in the Health Savings Account.”

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Timothy Morales
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