Health savings accounts in the United States of America

Sherry A. Glied, Dan P. Iy, Lawrence D. Brown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The medical savings account model of health insurance in the United States combines a high-deductible health insurance plan A high-deductible health plan is an insurance plan under which the beneficiary is responsible for a substantial amount of expense (the deductible) before the insurer begins paying benefits. US federal law as of 2015 requires a deductible of at least US$1300 for single coverage and US$2600 for family coverage for health saving account-qualified high-deductible health plans (). with a dedicated savings account used to pay expenses incurred below the deductible. Savings in the plan can roll over from one year to the next and, after some predefined period during which they are dedicated to health spending, can be used for non-health-related expenses. Use of savings for non-health expenses before this predefined period (age 65 under current law), incurs a tax and 20% penalty. In principle, this model combines the incentives for frugal use of health services that exist in high-deductible health insurance with assurance that the funds required in the event of true medical need will be available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPrivate Health Insurance
Subtitle of host publicationHistory, Politics and Performance
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781139026468
ISBN (Print)9780521125826
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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