Promising Growth in Health Savings Accounts
> 2/23/2006 2:06:31 PM

As discussed a couple of months back here at Anxiety, Addiction and Depression Treatments, big changes are on the way for health care, and those changes are coming in the form of consumer-directed health (CDH). The healthcare system, as it stands today, is in awful shape.

With consumer-directed health care, consumers will be asked to make more of the decisions regarding their care in the form of a larger upfront investment. This type of system, which includes health savings accounts (HSA), would have the benefit of greater flexibility and freedom for the consumer. Other benefits can come in the form of tax breaks, portability between jobs and cash in your pocket from the low premiums associated with high deductible health plans that work in conjunction with HSAs.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield, whose CDH plans account for nearly 1.5 million lives, announced this month that the number of HSA-compatible plans doubled between July 2005 and January 2006 to at least 900,000. This growth demonstrates that there are other options that work. By allowing for greater flexibility and responsibility HSAs provide consumers with quality healtcare. They are also setting a tone for further growth and increased improvement over the current system.


The baby-boomers are a well-educated, informed, and proactive generation who are aging and retiring quickly. They are aware of all the highly innovative and expensive health care that is available and they will be using it, a lot! Medicare is the number one payer for these retirees which means the working class, tax payers, will be paying for this care received. These HSA's might be part of the change in health care that is necessary.
Posted by: jules 2/23/2006 5:33:49 AM

I think you're right. It seems that the trend in personal wealth management, in terms of health care, but also in retirement planning as well, is headed in this direction. Another point that your comment brought to mind I think is worth mentioning. While boomers are highly educated and usually well informed, there still needs to be more action on the part of the government as well as the private sector towards the end of informing the public of the health care options that are available. When people have all the information, they will be better prepared to make the choice that is not only right for them, but, hopefully also most fiscally beneficial to the greater good. Money spent now on PSA type programs could potentially save time, money and even lives later on down the road.
Posted by: Jon 2/24/2006 9:24:58 AM

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