HSAs Need A Makeover: Meet the Health Empowerment Account

Comrades in arms,

Thank you for working to bring back true low premium high deductible health insurance that reimburses patient for catastrophic losses and health savings accounts. Current HSAs are fatally flawed as they are currently limited in use scope and inexorably tied to health insurance. Here are some principles to help. If the HSA is limited by definition, perhaps we can advocate for a new concept like “health empowerment accounts(HEA).”

1. HEA/HSA should be one to each individual from birth or whenever they are added on. They should belong only to that individual unless lawfully transferred to a family member(see 3).

2. HEA/HSA must be independent of all health insurance and government policies that would otherwise limit them. When they are coupled with specific insurance plans and companies, they become limited and approach uselessness.

3. HEA/HSA funds should be controlled by individuals, parents or otherwise responsible parties to move between family members at will. I.E. Mom or dad gets a cancer and needs funds.

3. HEA/HSA funds should be pretax and remain that way.

4. HEA/HSA funds should always be available for purchase of any medical item, prescriptive or over-the-counter or otherwise. I.E. no Drs prescription necessary to buy Tylenol for your children. (currently people have to ask their doctors for nonprescriptive items on prescriptions which makes them burdensome).

5. HEA/HSA funds are always available to the individual. It may be recommended for the individual to obtain a and insurance plan of their choosing, but not necessary. The invincible 20s really don’t need much insurance if at all, perhaps just inexpensive catastrophic.

6. HEA/HSA supports the Element of free market consumerism to healthcare services and supplies, ensuring that patients will spend their money judiciously within their own morals, ethics and general principles; The only ones that really matter.

7. The element of free market competition will finally bring down the prices of hospital healthcare services by full disclosure and competition. Allow physicians to own hospitals and surgery centers like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma and prices go down while quality goes up. Do away with phony baloney certificates of need as they restrict competition to monopoly and oligopoly by hospitals.

This plan is described in general during my interview from December with Dr. Ben Carson. Whatever you think of him for what he’s done recently, his characterization of healthcare and financing is spot on.

“We must consider the truth from wherever it comes.” Maimonides

Best wishes for good health,
Craig M. Wax, DO
Family Physician
Host of Your Health Matters
Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS FM
http://wgls.rowan.edu/?feed=YOUR_HEALTH_MATTERS
Twitter @drcraigwax

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