Health Spending Accounts: Why They are Becoming More Popular

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Michael Adams Contributor
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Health spending accounts have gained in popularity in recent years. Across North America, people are setting up accounts at an increasing rate. Consider how there were only a few over three million such accounts in 2006. By 2016, over 20 million people established accounts, according to figures released by AHIP. During that one year alone, 648,000 new accounts were established.

People with health spending accounts are not just those who can’t afford the increasing cost of traditional health insurance. Even those who have group health insurance through an employer or an association find these accounts helpful. Here are some of the reasons why they are going to be around for a long time.

Health Insurance Doesn’t Cover It All

No matter how great your individual or group health insurance may be, it doesn’t cover everything. That’s true even if you are willing to spring for additional benefits and the higher premiums that come with them. There will still be some forms of treatment and at least come co-pays and deductibles to meet.

The beauty of having a HSA is that you have resources to cover whatever your insurance plan doesn’t.  Do you want to see a chiropractor for your back problem? Your health insurance may not cover the visits, but your HSA will. Go ahead and make the appointment.

Freedom to Make Choices

With most health insurance plans, you are free to see any medical professional you want, provided you are willing to pay the cost. Using someone who is considered to be in the provider’s network means you have a higher level of coverage and less out of pocket expense. Going to someone outside the network means the amount your insurance policy will pay could range from nothing to no more than half of the bill.

If you have a health spending account as well as group insurance, you can exercise the freedom to see any medical professional you want. There are less worries about how you will cover the cost, since the HSA will cover whatever the insurance doesn’t.

A Portable Plan

Health spending accounts aren’t necessarily tied to an employer, even if that’s how you first found out about the plan. When the company shuts down or you choose to change jobs, you take your plan with you. The same can’t be said about your group health insurance. That makes your HSA a great way to still have access to funds for health care even if you will have a short period of no insurance coverage.

In a time when health care is such a major point of contention, you may wonder what will happen with yours over the next few years. Go ahead and look into a health spending account now and seriously consider establishing one. The level of protection and peace of mind it brings makes it worth the effort.

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