THE HSA SOLUTION

March 1, 2006

Last year, a study by Families USA found that uninsured Americans cause increases in health insurance premiums. The hit was $922 for every family health-care insurance package a company pays for, $341 for every individual package.

Is denial of care for the uninsured who either cannot or will not pay an option? Not in this country. But maybe it should be. Many who can afford to pay for their health care, or are able to buy health insurance, choose not to, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

According to Devon M. Herrick, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis:

  • Some 15 million adults who do not have health insurance live in households with incomes of more than $50,000 a year.
  • In fact, the fastest-growing segment of the uninsured population is from middle- and upper-income families.
  • The uninsured among households with yearly incomes above $75,000 grew 130 percent from 1994 to 2003, according to census data.
  • The raw numbers of uninsured within this group have grown by nearly 7 million over the last decade.

And what about the poor? Perhaps another 14 million low-income adults and their children, Herrick believes, qualify for government programs but have not enrolled. Only a small part of the population, maybe 6 percent, go without health insurance because they cannot afford it.

Health Savings Accounts would help here, says IBD. More than half of HSA buyers, for instance, pay between $50 and $100 a month for premiums. Still too much? So why not make HSA premiums tax deductible, as President Bush has suggested?

Source: Editorial, "The HSA Solution," Investors Business Daily, February 27, 2006.

 

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