The concept of Medical Savings Accounts
was originally developed in the United States in the 1970s in response to problems associated with the private health insurance market, such as moral hazard, adverse selection and rising administrative costs.
Claims are submitted to the MSA trustee for reimbursement, and a summary of annual distributions is reported to the recipient on Form 1099-MSA, Distributions from Medical Savings Accounts
. Qualifying MSA distributions must be used for the medical expenses of individuals covered by a high-deductible health plan.
Even for larger associations ineligible to offer the tax-favored medical savings account
to its employees, health care savings can still be had by both the employer offering the MSA option and the insured enrolled in an MSA plan.
* More Than a Theory: Medical Savings Accounts
The Portability Act also paves the way for a entirely new approach to health insurance: "Medical Savings Accounts
American Academy of Actuaries, Medical Savings Accounts
: Cost Implications and Design Issues, Washington, DC, May 1995.
Pat, I know if I had not had a medical savings account
, I would never have even thought to ask about the cost of the tests, not to mention thinking of shopping around for a better price."(11)
They're a refinement of such earlier consumer-driven health care concepts as medical savings accounts
and health reimbursement accounts, with some significant improvements.
These services are highly predictable and arguably should be funded through a medical savings account
We need to offer Americans a medical savings account
that will motivate them to manage their own health--financially as well as medically
The way to do that is to pay for most medical care using a medical savings account
, or MSA, and to keep third parties out of medical decision making.
Several health plans are being added to the Medicare program, including preferred provider organizations, provider sponsored organizations, private fee-for-service plans and Medical Savings Accounts
. The MedicarePlus Choice Medical Savings Account
, or Medicare MSA Plan, is available on a first come, first served basis.