Week 5 discussion
Health Savings Accounts: Case Study
The United States has arguably the most advanced health care in the world. And yet, a large proportion of Americans do not have access to this care due to its high cost. Providers, consumers, and the government have long searched for a way out of this paradoxical situation. HSAs offer one solution.
The American health care system is complex. A part of the population has access to health care through Medicare and Medicaid. Another part simply pays for care out of pocket. A substantial proportion of the population uses third-party payers to pay for care.
Payers have reacted to the rising costs of care by introducing various gatekeeper mechanisms. These have not been popular with consumers who see them as restrictive. The American population is aging and the need for care is likely to increase over the next decade.
While the earnings of health care professionals have been increasing, insurance premiums have also increased. Among hospitals, many are non-profit organizations offering substantial charity care. But for-profit and non-profit hospitals alike must show return on investment to remain viable. Providers must also factor reimbursement policies of payers into their decisions, sometimes even clinical decisions. These groups of stakeholders—patients, providers, payers, and the government—have different goals and different responses 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?
Use the following resources, use outside resources and your textbook for this discussion:
How health savings accounts work: Contributions and tax benefits. (2006). Congressional Digest, 85(3), 69.
Duke, A. C., & Cude, B. J. (2016). Motivating Personal Contributions to Health Savings Accounts. Journal Of Consumer Affairs, 50(3), 652-665. doi:10.1111/joca.12094
To support your work, use your course and textbook readings and also use the South University Online Library. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.
Health Savings Accounts
Health Saving Accounts (HSAs) enable individuals to save for short, and long-term qualified medical expenses, including retirement. HSAs are not subjected to the use-it-or-lose-it rule, and thus any unused funds can be used to pay future medical bills. HSA can be adopted in different healthcare disciplines to manage health expenses. This paper explores HSAs as one of the remedies to cope with the increasing cost of care by analyzing how it can be aligned with the expectations of different groups and its contribution to the improvement of healthcare cost, quality and access.
Aligning HSAs to the Expectations of Different Groups
It is possible to align HSAs to the expectations of the different stakeholders. HSAs act as financial security to the increasing cost of care. Alignment of HSAs will entail creating a framework for the patients to control the cost of their care and the payers to encourage active participation of their beneficiaries in the healthcare marketplace (Atlas, 2018). HSAs alignment makes it possible for the patient to pay for the different healthcare bills, including doctor visits, drug prescriptions, deductibles, and other qualified medical expenses. One gets an opportunity to legally reduce the federal income tax since money deposited in HSA is tax-free while lowering the health insurance premium. The interest from the HSAs is also an incentive that encourages the patients to continue saving for their health.
Providers anticipate that the program will offer health plan solutions to all enrollees. Providers strive to make the program more user-friendly by eliminating all forms of inefficiencies and discrepancies while allowing the patients to control how to spend their money (Duke & Cude, 2016). On the other hand, the government expects the population to receive quality and cost-effective care. Zero taxations on the HSAs encourage most citizens to join these programs, leading to the advancement of quality care. The alignment should ensure that all eligible individuals as stated by the government have enrolled to the HSAs.
HAS in the Improvement of Healthcare Cost, Quality, and Access
HSA provides a framework for improving healthcare cost, quality, and access. One of the critical elements that HSAs provide is financial security. The money deposited earns interest with time and is tax-free (Atlas, 2018). Enrollees have the opportunity to withdraw these funds at any time to sponsor their medical bills. This ensures that individuals are guaranteed access to healthcare cost coverage at any time. The increasing cost of care poses a significant challenge to most patients. However, HSAs remedy these growths by allowing the population to save for their medical expenses (Atlas, 2018). It ensures that the patient has access to quality care while eliminating cases of delayed care due to financial constraints.
HSAs is a promising health insurance program aimed at mitigating the increasing cost of care. Its alignment ensures that the patients, providers, government, and payers’ needs and expectations are addressed at all times. For the alignment to be achieved, it is essential to consider the expectations and contributions of these stakeholders in the HSAs program. The program is also advantageous to the enrollees since the money deposited in HSA is not taxed and may accumulate certain interest with time. It creates a framework where the population can save for their medical expenses, thus guaranteeing quality access to healthcare services. Eligible citizens should be encouraged to join HSAs to receive quality and reliable medical coverage at all times.