Health Savings Accounts: What they are, how they work, and why they are good for Maine

Read the full report | Since enacted into law by Congress in 2003, Health Savings Accounts (HSA) have provided Americans with the opportunity to save pre-tax dollars for future medical expenses. This study takes a look at how the Health Savings Accounts are performing since their implementation two years ago (January 2004), and how Health Savings Accounts can work to lower the cost of health insurance premiums in Maine.

The key findings in this report include:

• Premiums for HSA-eligible plans are typically 28-35 percent lower than traditional health insurance premiums.

• HSA plans provide individuals the same discounted prices for health care services given to insurance carriers and large companies.

• HSAs put real money in the pocket of employees.

• The uninsured are buying HSA-eligible plans.

• HSA enrollment spans all demographics.

• HSA premiums are increasing at the rate of inflation, as opposed to their traditional counterparts that are increasing three times that rate.

• HSAs promote fiscally conscious health care consumers.

• In Maine, lower income families with HSAs contribute the same or more per household member as higher income families.

• Effective January 1, 2006, Mainers can deduct HSA contributions on their Maine income taxes.