Health Savings Accounts for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Shopping, Take-Up and Implementation Challenges

Published in: The Open Health Services and Policy Journal, v. 3, Mar. 2010, p. 10-20

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2010

by Susan M. Gates, Pinar Karaca-Mandic, James R. Burgdorf, Kanika Kapur

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A combination of high deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) holds promise for expanding health insurance for small firms. We provide information on HSA take-up and shopping behavior from a 2008 survey of female small business owners, revealing that the HSA marketplace can be confusing for small firms. HSAs may have expanded access to health insurance for the smallest firms (under three employees), but not for small firms more generally. A sizable number of firms offering HSA-eligible insurance did not offer attached HSAs. Firms offering HSAs were satisfied with their experiences, but faced challenges in implementing them.

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