News of the Day ... in Perspective12/14/2003
Insurers ready to offer Health Savings Accounts
At least two of the nation’s biggest insurers are ready to seize the opportunity to offer Health Savings Accounts: Aetna and UnitedHealth Group, which recently purchased Golden Rule Insurance Company, a medical savings account pioneer.
Aetna plans to add 100,000 subscribers to the 45,000 it currently has in high-deductible plans that include savings accounts.
The new accounts are also expected to attract new competitors, including life insurance and property-casualty companies, 401(k) retirement administrators, and start-up ventures, stated Charles Boorady, a securities analyst at Smith Barney.
Some Wall Street analysts view the new consumer-driven plans as a “threat to the existing health care system.”
See Milt Freudenheim, The New York Times, 12/9/03.
HSAs are much better than the MSAs passed in 1996, which were strangled with regulations. “HSAs will help reduce the number of uninsured people,” writes Steve Forbes (www.forbes.com/forbes/2003/1222/035_print.html).
“Imagine a world where we didn’t have to call bureaucrats to have a single reasonable treatment approved….” (AAPS News, May 2001).
“Medical Savings Accounts: the Necessary Centerpiece of Health Care Reform” by Raymond J. Keating
“Health Care Crisis: Made in Washington,” AAPS News, August 1992