Monday, November 2, 2009

Real Health Care Reform Secrets: Part 3

The real savings is in a Health Savings Account coupled with catastrophic health insurance coverage.

In the beginning, health insurance was only intended for catastrophic coverage. Doctor’s visits were paid for out of the patient’s pocket. Over time, insurance companies began to compete with low cost health plans that would cover routine doctor visits. Since then, combined with federal regulation, health care has evolved into an expensive and complex system.

Now, with premiums skyrocketing, and the actual coverage of services dropping, real reform is needed. Patient’s paying for routine doctor visits and other services out of pocket is not as practical as it was. Enter the Health Savings Account. These accounts could be a great asset to reform.

If Americans were given incentives toward Health Savings Accounts we would see Health Care costs plummet. For example, if a person who is employed full time received a voucher for health insurance from their employer, as covered in previous blog post, and placed that money into a Health Savings Account then that money would gather toward paying for health services. This also encourages individuals to only use health services if needed, also causing a decrease in health care costs.

The government could incentive this program in many ways. One is already in practice. Health Savings Account deposits are tax free. This incentive could be taken a step further by allowing businesses to take a tax credit based on vouchers that are deposited into Health Savings Accounts. Also, those people who have the Health Savings Accounts could receive tax credit for the amount of money that is placed into the Health Savings Account. These incentives would greatly motivate people toward saving and healthy practices.

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