|Leading policy-makers and scholars explain how market forces, deregulation, and consumer choice can work to improve health care for all Americans.||
Health Savings Accounts: The Bright New Stars of Consumer Directed Health Care
Grace-Marie Turner surveys the field for HSAs and finds some reason for optimism: “438,000 people had purchased HSAs in the first nine months of last year. The study also found that 30 percent of them were previously uninsured. Other studies have found that 40 percent of HAS purchasers make less than $50,000 a year, about one-third of purchasers are families with children, and half are over age 40, showing they have broad appeal.”
Other consumer directed vehicles are helping as well.
HSAs are just one example of a constellation of offering that give consumers more power and control over health care decisions…Employers and health plans are smoothing the way by providing access to existing networks and on-line information tools. They are also instituting new programs to provide better coordinated care for those with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma. Some companies that have replaced their traditional health insurance with a consumer directed plan have seen their health costs fall by more than 10 percent, even as the use of preventive services by workers increased by as much as 23 percent.
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