Health Savings Accounts: Case Study
The United States has arguably the mostadvanced health care in the world. And yet, a large proportion ofAmericans do not have access to this care due to its high cost.Providers, consumers, and the government have long searched for a wayout of this paradoxical situation. HSAs offer one solution.
The American health care system is complex. Apart of the population has access to health care through Medicare andMedicaid. Another part simply pays for care out of pocket. A substantialproportion of the population uses third-party payers to pay for care.
Payers have reacted to the rising costs ofcare by introducing various gatekeeper mechanisms. These have not beenpopular with consumers who see them as restrictive. The Americanpopulation is aging and the need for care is likely to increase over thenext decade.
While the earnings of health careprofessionals have been increasing, insurance premiums have alsoincreased. Among hospitals, many are non-profit organizations offeringsubstantial charity care. But for-profit and non-profit hospitals alikemust show return on investment to remain viable. Providers must alsofactor reimbursement policies of payers into their decisions, sometimeseven clinical decisions. These groups of stakeholders—patients,providers, payers, and the government—have different goals and differentresponses to the rising cost of care.
Based on your understanding, answer the following:
- In your opinion, can HSAs be aligned to the expectations of all these groups?
- Do you think HSAs can help improve health care cost, quality, and access? Why or why not?