Health Savings Accounts: Early Estimates of National Take-Up

Health Affairs - November/December 2005
Vol. 24, No. 6
November/December 2005
Feldman, R., Parente, S., Abraham, J., Christianson, J., and R. Taylor
pp. 1582-91

The 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) approved tax-advantaged health savings accounts (HSAs) for certain high-deductible health insurance plans.  We predict that MMA could lead to approximately 3.2 million HSA contracts among Americans ages 19-64 who are not students, not enrolled in public health insurance plans, and not eligible for group coverage as a dependent.  We simulate the effect of several additional tax subsidies for HSAs.  We predict that the Bush administration's refundable tax-credit proposal would double HSA take-up and reduce the number of uninsured people by 2.9 million, at an annual cost of $8.1 billion. 

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