Brief Health Savings Accounts and High-Deductible Health Insurance Plans
Implications for Those with High Medical Costs, Low Incomes, and the Uninsured
Linda J. Blumberg, Lisa Clemans-Cope
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Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans are prominently featured in many discussions of health reform.The hope of supporters is that they will make individuals more prudent purchasers of medical care. However, the tax structure and incentives built into HSAs make them most attractive to the high-income and the healthy, populations already advantaged by the current system. HSA/high deductible plans shift more of the health financing burden onto those using significant amounts of care, with negative ramifications for the low-income and high-need. Nor is it clear that cost-containment, higher value shopping, or reductions in the uninsured will follow.
Research Areas Health and health care Taxes and budgets
Tags Health insurance Federal health care reform Health equity Private insurance Individual taxes Federal budget and economy Financial stability
Policy Centers Health Policy Center