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I recently had the extreme pleasure of reading a well thought out opinion column in the Wall Street Journal by the Republican Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels. Mr. Daniels shared his experience with Indiana state employee’s usage of Health Savings Accounts.

In review of the usage and cost savings, Indiana will stand to save $20 Million Dollars due to high enrollment in the HSA. An HSA is an outstanding addition to a company’s benefit plan and in the case of Indiana State workers in my opinion is successful due to high contribution rates provided by the government.

For example, the whole deductible of $2,750 is put into the HSA for the employee to use for any qualified medical necessity. For employees, “about 6 percent last year, who use their entire account balance, the state shares further health costs up to the maximum-out-of-pocket of $8000, after which the employee is completely protected.”
This generous level of contribution by the state is seldom seen in the private sector.  Our New Jersey Employee Benefits Specialists have implemented many HSA plans and usually the deductible is funded by the employer, but beyond that it is the employees responsibility to pay out of pocket for expenses or contribute themselves to the HSA plan.

I would like to see a wider adoption of HSA plans in the public and private sector. I hope the current administration in Washington makes consumer directed healthcare a bigger priority and looses the mentality that regular workers can not afford HSA plans due to the high deductibles present. The focus should be on providing incentives for employers to at least contribute to the HSA in the amount of the deductible since the savings on the premiums are so significant.