In a statement made by Texas State Representative John Smittee, “You look at the cost of health care in general and it’s increasing faster than the cost of living.” According to a Commonwealth Fund report, we have seen individual Texas health insurance premiums increase by almost 50 percent in the past eight years. The rise in family and group Texas health insurance plan premiums was even greater. A 2011 survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the cost of giving health benefits to employees increased by 118 percent for large firms and 103 percent for small firms in the past 10 years.
Health Savings Accounts Made Available To Texans
Under the “IRC Section 223” or state “Qualifying High Deductible Health Plan,” certain high-deductible Texas insurance plans are allowed to pair with a Health Savings Account or HSA. Health Savings Accounts started back in 2004. Since then, there had been an influx in people enrolling in HSA plans. Health Savings Accounts are available to Texans who buy their own TX health insurance plan, who are self-employed or who have employer-provided HSA plans.
In a study by United Benefit Advisors it showed that HSA-qualified plans have fewer and lower rate hikes as well as lower premiums compared to traditional health care plans. The rate of HSA premium increases is one third to one half that of what traditional plans has been. Results showed that the cost of HSA plans had only risen by an average of 3.4 percent while premiums for all plans combined increased an average of 9.6 percent in 2005 alone.
Between 2004 and 2005, Health Savings Account plan premiums increased by an average of 2.8 percent while the combined cost of Texas health plans rose by 7.3 percent as affirmed by a survey released by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.
Employers And Employees Can Both Benefit From A Health Savings Account
Since Health Savings Accounts started, many employers have realized that switching from group coverage to Health Savings Account plans offered in the individual market increases their savings that permit them to fund an HSA for every employee. Thanks to the new health care reform law, HSA plans now cover preventive health care from in-network providers with no out-of-pocket costs. This is even before the policyholder meets their deductible. If the medical expenses are not covered by their health insurance plan, employees can withdraw HSA money tax-free to pay for qualified medical expenses.
How Can Health Reimbursement Arrangements Help?
Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) can be used together. However, their use must not overlap each other. For example, you are not allowed to reimburse medical expenses that are meant to go toward the deductible of the HSA-qualified Texas health insurance. The main purpose of HRA plans is to reimburse workers for health care costs not covered by health plans as well as health insurance premiums. HRAs offer flexibility to employers because they can control the healthcare benefits of their workers without compromising the healthcare they receive.