Health accounts slow to catch on with employers
Workers reject high deductibles; most just don’t have the money
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
In his State of the Union address last month, President Bush revived his call for more Americans to open health savings accounts as a way of combating the nation’s out-of-control medical costs.
While the president’s statements drew thunderous applause by many lawmakers, local employers for the most part seem far less convinced that the accounts — dubbed HSAs — are what the doctor ordered to cure the country’s health finance ills.
Among the greatest drawbacks, he and others say, are workers’ aversion to high-deductible health insurance policies, which by law must be coupled with the savings accounts.
Similar to 401(k)s, HSAs were created in 2003 as tax-sheltered savings accounts that employees can take with them when they change jobs.
By law, the accounts must be paired with health insurance plans that carry high deductibles — at least $1,050 for an individual and $2,100 for a family — but lower monthly premiums.