Monday, July 18, 2005

Okay, Just One More on HSA and HRA...

Recently, I received this email from a colleague, whose nom-de-plume is smansfield. He’s graciously allowed me to share it with you:
I love the concept of the HSA, but it appears that the QHDHP's [ed: Qualified High Deductible Health Plan] for both individual and group don't seem to offer any real savings. I can't help but think that these carriers have the pricing structure all wrong
for these plans.
I just met with a 13 person group.
They have a plan with UHC that was/is a $1,500 deductible. The renewal came in June and they decided they were going to go with a higher deductible to save on premiums. The new plan they decided on with UHC was an HSA plan with a $2,850/$5,600 deductible (although they had no idea it was an HSA plan they switched to). The new premium, $7,200 per month. They actually thought they were getting a plan that paid 100% for doctor visits. I kindly explained to them that they had no benefits until the deductible was met. So they hurriedly switched back to the $1,500 deductible prior to the end of June (renewal month). Now the premium is just over $9k per month.
So I simply show them a similar plan with another carrier for under $7k per month. My point is, they get a $1,500 deductible with dr. copays, prescription copays, etc for less than the QHDHP with a $2,850 deductible. If only the original writing agent had serviced this account, he wouldn't be losing it.
Until carriers can price these plans so that the individual or employer can see a tangible benefit, they will only have limited success. I'm not saying that the plan has to be so inexpensive that the difference in premium fully funds the HSA, but they have to get it lower.
Just my 2 cents.
Well said, and Thank You!
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