MSA's Can Be a Windfall for All

Policy Backgrounders | Health

No. 157
Friday, November 02, 2001
by Greg Scandlen

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.

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