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The hassles of health savings accounts

Wall Street Journal (subscription required), May 1, 2008
High-deductible insurance plans paired with health-savings accounts are a centerpiece of Republican presidential candidate John McCain's platform. But new scrutiny of the plans, and the experience of people who have begun using them, are highlighting a number of challenges HSAs face in truly winning over consumers. Many employers and workers are satisfied with the new plans, citing cost savings. Premiums on the high-deductible policies can be much lower than for traditional plans. And a recent study by consulting firm Watson Wyatt found that average health-insurance costs rose 3.6% in the past two years for employers who offered high-deductible plans, compared with a rise of 7% for employers without such plans.