Just in case you thought I only publicized the potential problems with HSAs, there are some people in America happy to see them. Destiny Health, which is now offering its consumer services via other health plans has put together a survey quoting several health plan CEOs as saying that CDHPs will be the savior for their clients, and (not that they mentioned it) give them something else to sell that essentially allows their customers to offer worse benefits to their employees. In this context CDHP stands for “consultant-driven-health plan”.
However, the rah-rah approach is a little derailed by Destiny’s CEO:
Scott Spiker, CEO of Destiny Health, the company that conducted the survey, commenting on new study that revealed that Americans’ interest in Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), a key component of the recently passed Medicare bill, is strong, but knowledge of the accounts is surprisingly low. “However, it’s clear that consumer education is vital for their full power to be reached because HSAs alone cannot change consumer behavior when it comes to healthcare spending,” he said.
True words indeed. I await the backlash from consumers when they find out what consumer-directed really means in terms of benefits from their employers, and how ready the provider side of the industry is with its soon-to-be-transparent pricing.
Of course single payer lunatic (well they all are, aren’t they?) Don McCanne explains why HSAs can’t work on a macro-scale in this post. Ten years after I first heard this notion I still await an HSA advocate to explain to me why McCanne’s logic is wrong.