MSA's Can Be a Windfall for All
Table of Contents
- Types of Health Spending Accounts
- A Drumbeat of Criticism
- Are Cost Savings from Raising Deductibles Exaggerated?
- Do MSAs Change Patient Behavior?
- Will MSAs Attract "the Healthy And the Wealthy" at the Expense of Everybody Else?
- Do MSAs Encourage People To Avoid Needed Preventive Care?
- Will MSAs Pull the Best Risks from "the Insurance Pool," Raising Costs for Those Who Remain?
- Can MSAs Help Control Costs over the Deductible, Where the Need Is Greatest?
Do MSAs Encourage People To Avoid Needed Preventive Care?
Critics have charged that people with MSAs will be less likely to take advantage of preventive care.47 The opposite is actually true. Money in the savings account provides a source of funds that is not available in a traditional "fee-for-service" (FFS) plan to pay for exactly those kinds of services, and on a completely tax-advantaged basis.48 Further, based on the experience in South Africa, if there is skimping on preventive care it does not translate to more costly procedures later on.49 Finally, if Congress allowed more design flexibility, people could have an MSA and still have first dollar coverage for those preventive services that have been proven effective.