An inability to pay medical bills is the single greatest cause of personal bankruptcies in the United States. While this result may not be surprising since the American health care system is the most expensive in the world, the study paradoxically found that three-quarters of the people filing a medically-related bankruptcy have health insurance. According to Steffie Woolhandler, M.D. of Harvard Medical School, “Many of them were bankrupted anyway because they had gaps in their coverage, like co-payments, deductibles, and uncovered services.”
Due to the continued increase in the cost of insurance premiums, employers are transferring a rising percentage of the cost of health insurance to their employees by raising the employee’s share of premiums, increasing co-payments and deductibles, and restricting access to specific providers. In fact, the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may accelerate this process. Barron’s, a leading business and financial publication, declared that the impact of the law will be “a new wave of rising prices or a rationing of medical care – or both.”
Considering the dire predictions, an HSA may help you to best afford and adequately protect yourself and your family from a devastating medical event.
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