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Opinion: HSAs lucrative for insurers, costly for consumers

Tucson Sentinel/Center for Public Integrity, June 27, 2011

In its ongoing attempt to weaken a key provision of the healthcare reform law -- the one that requires insurers to spend at least 80% of premiums on medical care -- the insurance industry is predicting dire consequences for people enrolled in health savings accounts if lawmakers don't act soon. America's Health Insurance Plans, the insurance lobbying group, warned in a recent report that the rapid growth of HSAs will be hurt unless Congress exempts them from the 80% requirement -- or abolishes the threshold altogether. HSAs are available only to people enrolled in high-deductible plans. They are also exceedingly profitable for insurers.