High-Deductible Plans Without Accounts Might Cost Less
Some high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts could cost consumers more than high-deductible plans without HSAs, the ?wall> reports. According to the Journal, deductibles for high-deductible plans with HSAs and without the accounts "can look similar but ... work very differently."
High-deductible plans with HSAs in most cases cannot cover medical expenses other than preventive care before members meet their deductibles, but some plans without the accounts make exceptions for prescription drugs and other expenses. In addition, because high-deductible plans with HSAs must limit out-of-pocket costs for members after they meet their deductibles, they often require higher premiums than plans without the accounts.
However, high-deductible plans with HSAs "might have features that make it more cost-effective for a consumer long-term" because the "money in the account can grow and be withdrawn tax-free at any time in life for medical expenses," according to the Journal (Rubenstein, Wall Street Journal, 6/6).