HSAs won’t be a viable option for many now on ACA plans
Regarding the article “Trump signs executive order as first strike at ending Affordable Care Act” (Modern Healthcare.com, Jan. 20), in response to the often-heard suggestion that health savings accounts are a viable option to health insurance, HSAs wouldn’t be a workable option for people living under the poverty level. Additionally, patients who are acutely ill are not in a position to shop around for the best price, even if they could determine the final price when they accept a service.
Insurers negotiate prices with hospitals, but people paying for their own care (which is what those paying from HSAs would be doing) are often billed at much higher rates than the negotiated ones, which increases the risk for those relying on these accounts for protection from financial disaster. Although many providers have started to offer discounts for cash payments by patients, the majority of patients whose insurance premiums were subsidized by the ACA would have difficulty paying their rent or buying groceries if they paid enough into an HSA to cover even the discounted cost of a hospital or emergency department visit. Jean O’Malley Portland, Ore.