Author Topic: Health Savings Accounts  (Read 237 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline superdave

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4850
  • My name is not dave.
Health Savings Accounts
« on: March 09, 2017, 11:21:58 AM »
From what I have read, they basically sound like an IRA but you are allowed to use the money for healthcare bills.

This basically is a nice option for people who can afford to save money already but even in the best case, these will be useful when you have the money to put away and if you can wait long enough for it to accrue value before you use it.  So how are they anything other than a helpful way to put away money for a rainy day fund?  And how are they useful for anyone who can't afford to put away the money?
also maybe this should go into politics?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 11:31:43 AM by superdave »

Offline Ah.hell

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 10551
Re: Health Savings Accounts
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2017, 11:43:46 AM »
You've listed the flaws pretty well, though it would incentivize folks to perhaps choose saving over spending.  That is one of those periodic things folks in the US kvetch about, our lack of savings.  If we really want to go with HSAs, we could create a negative income tax that is placed directly into HSAs.  This would alleviate some of the disparities.  The notion of high deductible insurance with HSAs is an attempt to address the problem in the current system that the consumers and even the providers often have know idea what things actually cost.  This tends to result in waste that drives up costs.

Personal anecdote illustrating the issue that HSA addresses.
(click to show/hide)

Offline superdave

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4850
  • My name is not dave.
Re: Health Savings Accounts
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2017, 12:20:07 PM »
You've listed the flaws pretty well, though it would incentivize folks to perhaps choose saving over spending.  That is one of those periodic things folks in the US kvetch about, our lack of savings.  If we really want to go with HSAs, we could create a negative income tax that is placed directly into HSAs.  This would alleviate some of the disparities.  The notion of high deductible insurance with HSAs is an attempt to address the problem in the current system that the consumers and even the providers often have know idea what things actually cost.  This tends to result in waste that drives up costs.

Personal anecdote illustrating the issue that HSA addresses.
(click to show/hide)

That's sort of a perfect example, but what about the increased cost in people who delay important care, or make themselves worse by self medicating with bogus or dangerous treatment

Offline amysrevenge

  • Baseball-Cap-Beard-Baby Guy
  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4969
  • The Warhammeriest
Re: Health Savings Accounts
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2017, 12:51:37 PM »
Haha I remember well, living in America, paying more than we could afford for heath insurance, and sitting in the living room with my physician father-in-law standing by on the phone for advice, waiting to see if the bee-like insect that just stung me was the kind that I would die from, or just swell up from, because if we went to the emergency room (either way), even with our insurance we would run out of money and be forced to move back to Canada.

It was just the swell up kind.
Big Mike
Calgary AB Canada

Offline Ah.hell

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 10551
Re: Health Savings Accounts
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2017, 12:57:13 PM »
That's sort of a perfect example, but what about the increased cost in people who delay important care,
Good question:
I'm just spitballing but, require insurers to offer routine check ups and examines at some relatively low co-pay?  Structure HSA to incentivize early spending over using them as a retirement account?

... or make themselves worse by self medicating with bogus or dangerous treatment
I don't see how that goes away in any system that doesn't out right ban treatments that aren't authorized by the government, even then, clinics in Mexico will offer gerson therapy. 

Offline teethering

  • 37% better than Slick
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 10887
Re: Health Savings Accounts
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2017, 02:36:59 PM »
Haha I remember well, living in America, paying more than we could afford for heath insurance, and sitting in the living room with my physician father-in-law standing by on the phone for advice, waiting to see if the bee-like insect that just stung me was the kind that I would die from, or just swell up from, because if we went to the emergency room (either way), even with our insurance we would run out of money and be forced to move back to Canada.

It was just the swell up kind.

This is the sort of shit that scares me and makes me want to move back :(

Offline amysrevenge

  • Baseball-Cap-Beard-Baby Guy
  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4969
  • The Warhammeriest
Re: Health Savings Accounts
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2017, 02:50:52 PM »
Meanwhile in my current life, "my balls kinda hurt" turned into a doctor visit, a visit to a specialist, a couple ultrasounds, several hours in a hosptial bed, and many pee tests, all in less than 24 hours, and then I was back at work a couple days later, and rarely if ever have to think about it (other than marvelling at how quickly modesty can disappear under the right circumstances) since.
Big Mike
Calgary AB Canada

Offline amysrevenge

  • Baseball-Cap-Beard-Baby Guy
  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4969
  • The Warhammeriest
Re: Health Savings Accounts
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2017, 03:03:49 PM »
But anyway - I think the horror that you and I feel at the very notion of my bee sting event isn't really compatible with Americans.  They might fear it, as you might fear any other disaster that could ruin your finances, but the pure horror/dread of it being because of a healthcare choice - that's reserved for people who don't have that spectre hanging over them from birth, when finally forced to confront it.
Big Mike
Calgary AB Canada

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 5563
  • Cache rules everything around me.
Re: Health Savings Accounts
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2017, 03:21:49 PM »
Being one sprained ankle away from homelessness for years on end is a great feeling

Really builds character

It's the American Experience!
Every soup ladled to the hungry, every blanket draped over the cold signifies, in the final sense, a theft from my gigantic paycheck.

Offline Mr. Beagle

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2986
Re: Health Savings Accounts
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2017, 03:43:39 PM »
HSAs were a gift to people like me before retirement, well-compensated professionals in substantial tax brackets. I could get a high-deductible health insurance policy, saving money there, and put away up to $7500 away tax free for a rainy day of health costs. Mine paid for nice hearing aids and a bunch of expensive dental work, tax-free.

If your tax rate is low, or if you don't have $5K to $7K to sit in an account earning interest, well thanks for the gift.

These were created by upper-middle class Republicans for their own kind. Welfare for Republicans. The rest of you paid for it. The new health plan is full of this welfare. Unfortunately, I am now retired, living off the Medicare trust fund, which gets scaled back by this new legislation, and don't need the tax breaks any longer. If you are young, sucks to be you.

Tea Partiers are too dumb to figure this out.

Mister Beagle
The real world is tri-color

 

personate-rain