Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Health savings accounts for state employees

Interesting experiment with HSAs for Indiana's state employees. The state deposits $2750 each year into an account and pays the premium for a health insurance plan with a much higher than normal deductible. Employees pay for their own health expenses up to an annual limit of $8000. If they spend less than $2750, they get to keep the money. Pluses: people spend their own money more carefully than if a third-party were involved, so state employees have higher take-home pay AND the state saves money. Minus: $8000 is still a pretty big hit for many state employees (although this should be compared to the maximum copays and deductibles under conventional plans, which would certainly be in the thousands).

We have our own health care challenges and state budget issues in North Carolina. What would it take for the General Assembly and the Governor to take a serious look at HSAs?

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