Why are employers pushing HSA so strongly? Is it just to reduce their own costs, or are their actually benefits for the employee

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by DirtMcGirt24

If you are young then it’s almost always a good deal for you and the employer.

Typically the traditional PPO plan is going to have a much higher premium and cover more and the high deductible plan is going to have a much lower premium. If you don’t go to the doctor, you’re paying premium for something you’re not using.

An example I’m looking at is $250 times 26 for family for a traditional PPO and $50 times 26 for the HDHP with a $5,000 deductible and $10,000 out of pocket max.

Sure, $20 copays are more fun at the time than the one-off $300 office visit, but in this example, you gotta pay $6,500 for the right to pay that low copay. If you’re healthy and don’t typically use services annually that cost as much as the annual premium of the traditional PPO plan, the HDHP wins. And that doesn’t even include the money that companies usually kick in to the HSA and the great triple tax advantage you get for putting your own dollars into it (tax deduction on the way in, tax deferred growth, tax free if you use for medical expenses, which all old people will have in retirement).

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The HDHP plans do help companies, but on the consumer side they shift cost better to those who use the services. Think like if auto insurance was cheap for good drivers and expensive for bad ones who get into a lot of wrecks.

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A traditional PPO plan or the like has to be priced to cover anything, and it gives the insured an incentive to use the insurance improperly. Name brands, second and third opinions, etc. When you’re paying out of pocket, you become a better consumer. “Is there a generic version of this drug?” “Let me make sure this doctor is in network.” People behave better which lowers costs all around.


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