Aetna Study Says CDHC is A-Okay

The study of two million Aetna members shows sustained savings over time and increased member engagement in their health. The study results show that members with a Health Savings Account (HSA) had more than 15 percent lower primary care physician use for non-routine visits, and more than 10 percent lower overall medical costs than members in a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan. The results also show that HSA members are more involved in their health care — they are two and a half times more likely to use online tools and three times more likely to take a health assessment than their PPO counterparts.

Comments (15)

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  1. Tom H. says:

    I believe that every study that has ever been done on HSAs has concluded that they save money without sacrificing needed patient care.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    Nearly 30 years ago the RAND Health Insurance Experiment found patients respond to financial incentives without impacting their health. Subsequent experiments with MSAs, FSAs, HSAs and HRAs have verified this fact time and time again. Yet, left-leaning public health advocates continue to believe that if we merely made medical care free at the point of service, we would all be happier, healthier and (by some unexplained miracle) long term health expenditure would fall. The past 60 year of data illustrate that the reverse is actually true.

  3. Kenneth Artz says:

    Yet another study that shows health savings accounts save people money by getting them more directly involved in their own health care. So why are the Obama administration and the Democratically-controlled Congress so hostile to them?

  4. Larry C. says:

    Kenneth, Obama and the Democratice leadership in Congress have no interest in patient power. They are only interested in government power.

  5. Joe S. says:

    When people manage their own health care money they are more likely to take a bigger role in managing their own health care as well.

  6. Paul H. says:

    I think it is fair to say neither President Obama nor the Democrats in Congress have had one good word to say about HSAs. So I agree. It’s hard to believe there is any serious interest there in controlling costs.

  7. Tom Lewellen says:

    Boy does this hit home. HSAs are a blessing for helping our family allocate health costs by need.

    I would also note that it would be great if insurance companies would rate policies for health behavior. I know I am paying a bigger premium for those folks out there that smoke, eat to much, don’t exercise and drink too much. And then pay what I pay. They need an incentive for good health behavior and our government run system doesn’t allow for it.

    A shame.


  8. Bart Ingles says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate, I wonder how much self-selection is present. Is it possible that people who tend to make responsible decisions regarding the use of health care are more likely to want to enroll in an HSA?

    Not that the incentive to spend carefully isn’t present with an HSA– it obviously is. I’m just not convinced that the strength of the effect can be measured both directly and accurately.

  9. Bart Ingles says:

    …Of course, even if the alternate explanation is true, the HSA is a means to reward people for their frugality.

  10. John Goodman says:

    Bart is probably correct. HSAs are more likely to be selected by people who want to manage their own care. BTW, I have never thought HSAs are for everybody. I think some people don’t want to make these kinds of decisions for themselves. That’s why God invented HMOs.

  11. Joe Stomplain says:

    Complete and utter ****** of the highest order. [edited]

  12. Linda Gorman says:

    It is indeed unfortunate that reports of actual results from actual experience can cause such psychic upset.

  13. Bruce says:

    Somebody should put Joe in an HMO and administer some (rationed) mental health care.

  14. larry says:

    the only option i have ever been offered, i s a plan where i can put aside a certain amount, tax-free, to pay for expenses. however, any money not used is LOST at the end of the year! why can that money not be rolled over to the next years expenses? i am in a self insured, bc/bs administered plan in nebraska. but that has been the only hsa i have ever been offered at any of the employers i have been with. i would love a catastrophic plan, with the difference between that and what we pay now put into a fund to cover routine care. would save me, and my employer(who pays 60% of premiums).

  15. Linda Gorman says:

    Plans with health savings accounts do roll money over from year to year and because the funds are owned by the individual, they follow him as he changes jobs. Amounts from health reimbursement accounts may also roll over, though that is at the discretion of the employer, and individuals may lose them when they leave an employer because the employer owns that account. Flexible spending accounts are owned by employers and usually expire at year’s end.