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Leading policy-makers and scholars explain how market forces, deregulation, and consumer choice can work to improve health care for all Americans.

Commentary

Good News All Around
Grace-Marie Turner, Galen Institute, 10-1-05

While policymakers are considering adding health-savings accounts to Medicaid to help control costs and improve care, there is a mounting body of evidence that health savings accounts are having positive effects in the marketplace. In fact, the evidence to date is almost uniformly encouraging.

Assurant Health, which markets health insurance to individuals and small groups, has produced new data on who is buying Health Savings Accounts: The good news we've seen in earlier surveys by this company - and others - continues to hold true.

HSAs are increasingly attractive to the uninsured: 44% of people applying for an HSA with Assurant did not report having prior insurance coverage, up from 40% in the company's last survey. In addition:
• 70% of HSA purchasers are families with children
• 60% are over age 40
• 29% of HSA purchasers have incomes of less than $50,000 a year.

The data speaks for itself in answering the critics.

These statistics are helpful, but if HSA’s and other market-driven policies are going prove themselves in public’s mind, advocates are going to need stories that illustrate how much they help people at least as often as often as they’ll need hard data. As the saying goes, people don’t care about what you know until they know that you care.



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