Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, February 17, 2006

HSA, MSA, FSA, What?????

Bush is out touting his medical savings accounts (MSA) again. Sometimes they are referred to as Health Savings Accounts (HSA), although HSAs have fewer restrictions. There are also "Flexible Spending Accounts". These have a dark side. If you don't spend the money in the account, you lost it. Poof. Gone. So unless you have a planned medical expense, it probably isn't worth your time. How many "planned" expense could you really have? When your appendix ruptures, it ruptures.

Some point out that you can use MSAs to pay for routine medical expenses. If something major happens, you are covered by a high deductible insurance plan. The idea is that people will "compare" shop for health care. Well, when was the last time you walked into a doctor's office, and got a price list? I have visions of the future. Imagine a McDonald's-like arrangement. You walk in, a nurse/cashier in a white coat says, "Welcome to Doc-in-the-Box. What can we offer you today". Over your head is a lit up menu. Office visit $150 (or use our AHM (automatic Health Machine) for free! Blood test $20, radiation treatment $500 per session, colonoscopy - complimentary when you sign up for our customer rewards plan.

No one ever mentions the dark side of these accounts when I hear them spoken about. And considering that Bush hasn't put forth a plan, I decided to investigate. This brief but useful bit of info from the the Department of Labor .

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think we talked about this kind of thing before. The idea that there is a market for health care in the same way there is a market for cars or something is just silly. People have an inellastic demand for health and they don't recognize limits to that demand. Nor should they!

Basing health care provision on ability to pay (because everyone would be willing to pay if they had the money) is just sick. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

By the way, here  is a great primer on HSAs. 

// posted by Bell Curve

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Anonymous said...

The real disaster is when individuals do not take stock of there own lives, and refuse take responsibility for their actions.

Health care is no exception. The more 'choice' and 'responsibility' that people are given, the better off everyone is. Though nothing is perfect or fits everyone, anything that progresses in that direction is good... and I think it's wrong to disparage any alternatives.

Unfortunately, some people don't want to take responsibility for there own lives... well, I guess that's their choice ... however, there's no need to penalize and denigrate those that do want take responsibility for there life's course.

Another point: health care today is sold on fear. The fear of 'what if'.

Let me ask, what's wrong with being 'uninsured'? If one doesn't carry health insurance does that always mean they are a victim of society? Is it too hard to beleive that some actually choose not to have health insurance?

Maybe they have better things to spend there hard earned money on... or maybe they've learned how to be savers, and actually have an emergency fund. Maybe they have evaluated the risks, and are OK with using there resources elsewhere. Some will say THIS is irresponsible, but is it? True responsibility lies in reason and choice, not fear and emmotion. Every person is different, their circumstances and choices will be different. To make everyone conform to one mold, especially when that mold is based on fear and emotion, is just plain wrong.

No one would disagree that the best health plan is; eating sensibly, not smoking, not taking drugs, drinking moderately, excerciseing, getting enough rest, etc. All can cut their expenses dramatically and improve their quality of life by focusing on these fundamentals.... the fact is, no one else can do that for you, no matter how much or little you pay or what health plan you choose. It also is attainable by everyone, no matter your income or status.

Maybe we don't need to live in fear after all, but just need to make good choices.

Kind Regards To All

 

// posted by Real World & Common Sense

Anonymous said...

The real disaster is when individuals do not take stock of there own lives, and refuse take responsibility for their actions.

Health care is no exception. The more 'choice' and 'responsibility' that people are given, the better off everyone is. Though nothing is perfect or fits everyone, anything that progresses in that direction is good... and I think it's wrong to disparage any alternatives.

Unfortunately, some people don't want to take responsibility for there own lives... well, I guess that's their choice ... however, there's no need to penalize and denigrate those that do want take responsibility for there life's course.

Another point: health care today is sold on fear. The fear of 'what if'.

Let me ask, what's wrong with being 'uninsured'? If one doesn't carry health insurance does that always mean they are a victim of society? Is it too hard to beleive that some actually choose not to have health insurance?

Maybe they have better things to spend there hard earned money on... or maybe they've learned how to be savers, and actually have an emergency fund. Maybe they have evaluated the risks, and are OK with using there resources elsewhere. Some will say THIS is irresponsible, but is it? True responsibility lies in reason and choice, not fear and emmotion. Every person is different, their circumstances and choices will be different. To make everyone conform to one mold, especially when that mold is based on fear and emotion, is just plain wrong.

No one would disagree that the best health plan is; eating sensibly, not smoking, not taking drugs, drinking moderately, excerciseing, getting enough rest, etc. All can cut their expenses dramatically and improve their quality of life by focusing on these fundamentals.... the fact is, no one else can do that for you, no matter how much or little you pay or what health plan you choose. It also is attainable by everyone, no matter your income or status.

Maybe we don't need to live in fear after all, but just need to make good choices.

Kind Regards To All

 

// posted by Real World & Common Sense

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