Indiana’s HSA Plan for the Medicaid Population is Hugely Popular

One of my basic working theories about health care reform is that Americans cannot stand, and will not stand for, having access to care being rationed or their choices limited by any system designed to do just that — which in the case of HMOs — has meant their demise.

If on the other hand, you offer Americans real help to access health care services they need, cover them against big bills and serious health conditions, but let them have control over their own health care needs by helping them have the financing and resources to get the care, then you have a winner — people get help and they get it in a form that fits the American psyche.

This is why Indiana’s HSA program for the working Medicaid population is attracting huge numbers of applications, a little more than 10,000 a month since January of this year.

The plan has a health insurance policy with a $1,100 deductible, and then 100% coverage after that up to $300,000 in benefits.

Each plan participant has a debit card with access to $1,100 cash for spending on their health care needs.  They make their own choices and decisions.

The plan includes a minimum of $500 in preventive care services.  If the insured does not spend the $1,100 in the account that year, the money rolls over into their account for the next year if the insured has completed all of the preventive care services that have been identified by Medicaid as necessary for the age, sex and health status of the insured.

Herein is an example of a government financed HSA for the poor, that is popular, puts incentives around making sure the insureds actually get the preventive care prescribed, and that allows those being helped to have the dignity of making their own decisions about what is best for their health, when they consult their doctor.  This is the anti-nagging, anti-bureaucrat health plan.

It gives the insureds cash if they do the right thing.  It also is not a cultural affront to Americans, who just want and need some help.

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