Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) provide more freedom and flexibility in health care. How much do you know about Health Savings Accounts? Play this “Two Truths and a Lie” game to find out.

A. Americans find it easy to pay for health care.
B. Health care is expensive and prices are often motivated by third-party interests.
C. Health Savings Accounts can benefit everyone.

A. Lie! Americans are finding it more and more difficult to pay for the health care we need. According to the Cicero Institute, “Despite 91% of Americans having health insurance, almost half of insured adults report difficulty paying out-of-pocket costs, while one in three patients report not being able to cover their deductible.” We can’t keep going like this. We need more personal power over how much money we spend and to whom it goes. 


Although the United States is the land of the free, we are mostly not free to know what we have to pay for healthcare treatment. This means we are sometimes swindled into ridiculously high prices, and consequently saddled with debt we can’t afford

Hospital systems—the growing monopoly among healthcare providers—are incentivized to prioritize their relationships with insurers over those with their patients. Insurance middlemen are incentivized to set the prices of care without the pocketbooks of patients in mind—in fact, they make more money if the providers charge more, as long as the patient picks up the bill. But then the prices are so high that people are told they cannot afford them without hefty insurance coverage. This has created a vicious cycle and perverted incentives in our political system as well.

C. Truth!

Allowing universal and robust HSAs can be a large factor in improving provider and treatment options and making sure we have the money we need to access necessary care. First, the triple-tax advantages of saved tax monies, untaxed interest and investments, and untaxed health spending put more money in your pocket—money you don’t have without an HSA. Second, employers could put their contributions into HSAs instead of expensive Cadillac insurance plans, providing people with even more money for choosing their best options. The more control we have over our own healthcare dollars, and the more alternative insurance models, provider models (like DPCs), and price-comparison shopping we can use, the more downward pressure we can put on our currently out-of-control healthcare prices.

Furthermore, allowing DPC subscriptions and insurance premiums to be qualified expenses could allow many people to cover all their annual costs with their HSAs, and still save for when they’re older and need more treatment.

Bottom Line: 

Americans are not allowed to put much away for savings, especially considering the high prices of care in the U.S. Our current unequal access to HSAs just isn’t American, and it blocks us from using this promising asset to improve our healthcare affordability and access.

HSAs give you more control of your health care. The United States must adopt a robust, universal Health Savings Account program.

To learn more, read the Policy Focus on Becoming American with Health Savings Accounts.