Monday, March 1, 2010

Health Savings Accounts - New Data In & They Are Effective

Indiana has released a report on the state usage of Healthcare Savings Accounts. The news is not good for democrats. The use of HAS’s as part of the choice in state employee health coverage has reduced costs. The savings has been seen across the board. The employees are given $2750 in an account that they are to use for out of pocket expenses. The costs above this amount are then covered by health insurance. The premiums for the health insurance are covered by the state. Mitch Daniels, the Governor of Indiana has written an OP-ED piece on the findings of the states costs. I use a plan similar to this. I have a $5,000 deductible and a $5,000 HSA.

With this plan I make choices about the type of services I use and how much I pay for them. I do shop around for the best costs. I will always ask for the generic version of any prescriptions that I need, and if time permits, I will call around to different pharmacies to check costs. I have found that Target and Costco are generally the cheapest. I have saved as much as $30 on one prescription by using Target instead of going to CVS. The reality is that had the money not been coming out of my own pocket, I would go to the closest pharmacy. I wouldn’t care how it much cost the insurance company, while it does affect me by higher premiums, I never thought about it.

I have changed doctors on one occasion as well. It was not that I didn’t like the doctor, but I didn’t particularly love the guy either. He was efficient, and I would get the services that I needed. But I found three other doctors that would charge me less money for the same services, even the wait time I had to get an appointment had decreased. So, I shopped around and found a better service for less money.

In the past four years that I have had this insurance policy I have only used my insurance in one year, that was the year that I had to get treatments for a brush with breast cancer. In every other year my HSA covered all of my costs and then some. My pot of available funds to use for health costs has increased over time. I have also lowered my tax liability by using this plan. It is win win. My insurance company has less liability for unnecessary expenses, I have the coverage that works for me, and much to my surprise my premium for 2010 has actually gone down. My open season is March, so I have just gotten my premium paperwork for the next year.

The democrats have said over and over again that people will be able to keep the same coverage that have if they are happy with it. I am very happy with my coverage, if this plan passes as currently written, I may not be able to keep this plan any longer as HSA’s will much more difficult to use. The services that you are allowed to get reimbursed for will be severely limited. I will be forced to go and look for a more traditional plan, which will actually increase not only my costs, but will also increase the costs of the insurance company.  How exactly is the new government plan going to save me money? 


Opus #6 said...

Oooo. Patients price shopping on their own? What an awesome capitalistic idea! And good for the market.

The Griper said...

you are just affirming everything i have been saying with a few added benefits of hsa's.

i've been advocating this idea of hsa's forever, it seems. i started writing about it way back in December. people have to get away from this mindset that health care costs automatically means health insurance costs.

hsa's can benefit the individual in so many more ways than just the costs of medical care savings.

if people would incorporate hsa's with their retirement plans they'd end up with a very nice little nest egg.

The Griper said...

you also get a hat tip on this one on my latest post today also, me lady. i thank ya.

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