Republicans have introduced six bills this year with the goal of promoting Health Savings Accounts. Health Savings Accounts, created by the Bush Administration in 2003, allow people to sock away cash — tax free — in a savings account to be used to pay their medical expenses. If that money is unused from year to year, then it can be rolled over, invested and withdrawn at the age of 65 for non-medical expenses. Kind of like an individual retirement account (IRA).
The catch is that in order to use a Health Savings Account, a person must be enrolled in a high-deductible plan.
This story from Wall Street Journal illustrates my point. People who can afford to put money away — are healthy, or can afford to pay out of pocket for their medical expenses — are using Health Savings Accounts as an extension of their retirement funds.