HSAs Unlikely To Reduce Health Care Spending
High-deductible health plans with health savings accounts do not increase out-of-pocket costs for consumers with the most health care expenditures and, as a result, are unlikely to reduce health care spending as supporters have maintained, according to a study published on Tuesday in the July/August issue of Health Affairs, Bloomberg/Hartford Courant reports.
Study co-author Dahlia Remler, an associate professor of public affairs at City University of New York, said in a statement, "Health care spending is highly concentrated among a small group of people who have very high medical costs," adding, "This study shows that a high-deductible HSA would have no effect on this spending, leaving a negligible impact on health care costs." According to Bloomberg/Courant, the study indicates that "cost-sharing changes aren't a cure for the nation's rising health bill at a time that so-called consumer-driven insurance -- a term for policies aimed at raising consumers' out-of-pocket costs -- is fashionable" (Brown, Bloomberg/Hartford Courant, 7/12).
An abstract of the study is available online.