Viewpoint: 3 ways HSAs can lower healthcare prices

Sally Pipes, CEO of San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute, believes an expansion of health savings accounts would not only reduce costs for individuals and families, but also lower the price of care, according to her op-ed in The Hill.

Listed below are three benefits of HSAs, which would only become more pronounced if the accounts were more common, she argues.

1. Those with HSAs have high deductible health plans, and because they pay deductibles with money from their own accounts, they are incentivized to shop around for best-priced services. Ms. Pipes argues that this behavior encourages efficient spending.

2. The ability of consumers to shop around for better priced service also drives down the cost of care, as providers lower costs to compete for business. A growth in HSAs would strengthen this market dynamic and work to benefit consumers, according to Ms. Pipes.

3. People don't pay taxes on money they put into accounts or pay capital gains taxes on money they invested in that account. If the individual contribution limit was raised, Ms. Pipes believes that people would not only put away more money for healthcare but also save money on tax bills.

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