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Policy: Another take on HSAs by Jib

The Los Angeles Times has an excellent piece on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) this week, which almost sounds as though whoever wrote it read some of the comments in the threads here! No surprises in the conclusions :  employers kind of like HSAs (go figure), employees are kind of confused (ditto) and some people are ending up paying a little bit more for their medical bills than they had reckoned on. BusinessWeek also has an article on the topic this week, which has a more positive take on HSAs, including some interesting wrinkles in place at one plan.  Hat tip Ezra Klein.

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James MartinSueAbbyjibKaiser Permanente Hawaii Recent comment authors
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Sue
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Sue

Ron, My post didn’t call you a Nazi, it just pointed out that insurance industry underwriting practices which excluded “rated” individuals weren’t all that much different from the Nazi practices of herding their perceived undesirables (including the sick and handicapped) into extermination camps–death through inability to afford health care just takes longer. Long-term our current system actually denies healthcare to a portion of our population through the current underwriting practices. Your company’s initiative in three states may be a positive market driver. It would be interesting to understand what motivated them to select the states they’ve chosen (market analysis, state… Read more »

James Martin
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James Martin

Ron, your behavior is malicious and disgraceful, and your lack of professionalism only serves to further discredit the insurance industry. I didn’t even think that was possible.
From now on I will skip over any threads related to HSA’s because I know you will be there trolling. Don’t bother with one of your loathsome replies. I won’t be returning.

Ron Greiner
Guest

Gadfly,
Good I’m glad she is helping too.
Now this makes more sense. Gadfly you were so confused and attacked me from every angle with stuff that was not true. So KP is your friend, ha ha.

gadfly
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gadfly

I’m uninsured, and KP Hawaii personally pointed me to resources and helped me navigate the system for filing an HMO grievance. She puts unbelievable amounts of time into free support for uninsured people.

Ron Greiner
Guest

Sue, You’re first post to me on 5/6/05 at 4:29 discribed me enrolling people into individual insurance to be like NAZIs. Now you say I’m not nice, go figure. The new options instead of exclusionary riders is a done deal too. It’s currently available in 3 states and will be expanded to the rest of the country. The example on your association group plan was $20,000 a year for a 35 year old male and family in Montana. The 60 year old couple was a lot more. Thanks for sharing your state’s uninsurable pool cost is $740 a month for… Read more »

Sue
Guest
Sue

The rates you quoted were for family coverage in Beverly Hills. I pay $6500/year currently with a $5K deductible and no pre-existing exclusions. That premium is about $200 a month less than my state’s high risk pool coverage. My issue is the same as KP Hawaii–this isn’t about whether the insurance choices we have made are best. It is about the fact that our choices are limited by underwriting practices that quite frankly aren’t justified. I’ve never had major health expense, but the way questionnaires are worded I trigger ratings that drive pre-existing condition exclusions. The fact that your plan… Read more »

Ron Greiner
Guest

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii,
You said I don’t care about uninsurable people. I said I do and help them for free. You said you do too. So I asked what you do for uninsurable people.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii
Guest

I was wrong about one thing, Ron. You do realize how nasty you come across in your posts, and you just don’t care. Sorry, I’m not going to play.
//HSAs and insurance are two separate things. When you said “HSAs are not the solution because only healthy people can get them” that is wrong. You’re beef is with individual health insurance not HSAs.//
HSA accounts must be used in conjunction with a high deductible health plan. If you can’t get the health plan, you can’t get the account. All of my prior points apply, so I won’t repeat them.

Ron Greiner
Guest

Sure Sue, You suggested an your association group health plan that the example they used was $20,000 a year for a 35 year old male and family with $8,000 Out-Of-Pocket with 40% Rx Co-insurance forever. And Sue did you see that we are introducing new options to eliminate exclusionary riders? That should make you very happy. Kaiser Permentente Hawaii, HSAs and insurance are two separate things. When you said “HSAs are not the solution because only healthy people can get them” that is wrong. You’re beef is with individual health insurance not HSAs. I don’t think we are going to… Read more »

Sue
Guest
Sue

KP Hawaii,
I couldn’t have said it better. I just didn’t want to tie up the thread with another circular argument with Ron. We need a solution for middle-class, middle-aged people with “rated” conditions that cost little or no real money. High risk pools throw us in with costly cancer patients and individual insurance writes such broad exclusions we bear a disproportionare share of financial risk. No one is adequately addressing that issue and it is something we should be writing our politicians about because we need new solutions, not thinly disguised cost shifting mechanisms. The system is broken.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii
Guest

//Here again KP I have never got a call for HSA insurance from this discussion. I don’t expect to get one either.// I’m glad no one is responding to your advertisements, but that doesn’t make them any less objectionable. I’m not completely without appreciation for the information you have provided, but perhaps you don’t realize how you come across in your posts. I followed the other recent HSA thread, and in addition to the advertising issue I found your responses to people who don’t agree with you to be pretty insulting and devoid of compassion. //First KP, HSAs are not… Read more »

Ron Greiner
Guest

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, //It’s one thing to discuss HSAs in general, but it’s quite another to constantly plug your personal money-making enterprise. I’m surprised and disappointed Matthew allows it because I find your constant “ADVERTISING” to be in *extremely* poor taste// Here again KP I have never got a call for HSA insurance from this discussion. I don’t expect to get one either. //HSAs are NOT the solution when only healthy people can get one, and I refuse to quietly stand by and watch your attempt to marginalize people in my situation.// First KP, HSAs are not medically underwritten. The… Read more »

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii
Guest

//Hawaii is a basket case…. Hawaii is a perfect example of government regulation that makes insurance companies leave. Im sure that was the goal, no competition for a couple of “special” insurance companies.//
Hey Ron, we agree about something!

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii
Guest

//If you are uninsurable that’s no excuse not to cover your son and husband. You are the child’s guardian. So yes, I am suggesting you get coverage on them.// I have said more than once that we have other options besides an individual plan, and I never said they are not insured, or we won’t insure them. I said we had to drop our Kaiser group plan, and we cannot get an individual plan including the HSAs that you keep insisting are the solution to everybody’s problem. Again, OUR problem isn’t solved until every member of our family has coverage.… Read more »

Ron Greiner
Guest

Jib, Thanks. President Bush’s tax credits for the poor to purchase HSA insurance would help millions of uninsured Americans get insurance on their families. The President would pay $2,000 a year for the purchase of HSA insurance. In Michagan and Iowa and in many other states a family of 4 can get HSA unsurance for less than $2,000 a year (30 year old couple and 2 children). So the President’s plan would pay 100% of the poor family’s insurance. Plus, the President would deposit $1,000 annually into the family’s HSA for first dollar coverage for dental, vision and medical expenses.… Read more »