NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 7, 2009

Health savings accounts (HSAs) are special purpose savings accounts where contributions are tax-deductible for the individual.  The amount saved, plus interest earned, is useable for any qualified health care expense.  This makes it an ideal alternative to insurance for the self-employed, freelancers, part-time job holders and others not provided with insurance as an employee benefit or who cannot get conventional health insurance, says author Dan Kennedy. 

According to an extensive study conducted by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, those with HSAs are more cost-conscious and proactively, responsibly engaged in their health decisions than those with traditional insurance. 

For example:

  • 72 percent of those with HSAs track their health expenses, compared to 42 percent covered by insurance.
  • 24 percent discuss health expenses with providers and may shop and negotiate, vs. 18 percent covered by insurance.

When it comes to preventive care, HSA account holders win too:

  • 69 percent have regular check-ups vs. 62 percent covered by insurance.
  • 25 percent of HSAers exercise regularly vs. 14 percent of those insured.

Kennedy points out that those paying for health care with their own money are much more involved and responsible in taking care of themselves and controlling costs than those receiving insurance as an employee benefit or otherwise covered by insurance.

Source: Dan Kennedy, "On Health Care (and Everything Else), what is the American Way," Business and Media Institute, July 1, 2009.


Browse more articles on Health Issues