In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Bush is expected to promote what he'll call a "solution" for many of the roughly 46 million Americans who don't have health insurance: the Health Savings Account, or H.S.A.
People like 29-year-old Boston bartender Chris Raymond.
"If I were to get it thought the restaurant," he tells The Early Show Trish Regan, "it'd be about $300 a month. … It's just too, too expensive."
For about $100-150 a month, Chris could get a high-deductible HSA plan, which he calls "a lot more reasonable."
HSAs, explains Regan, are like 401(k)s for health care. They pair a savings account with a high-deductible insurance policy. You contribute your own pretax dollars to the health account. The money can be invested in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. The account grows tax-free, but funds can only be taken out for health care costs. An HSA goes with you from job to job and, upon retirement, the funds are still yours.
Iowa self-employed software consultant David Andersen makes six-figures a year, and pays about $80 monthly for an HAS.
"It's a tremendous cost savings for me," Andersen says.
A traditional insurance plan would cost him nearly $400 dollars a month. Instead, he's funding an HSA.
"It's absolutely attractive," he continues. "It's money that I'm not spending on premiums that would just disappear that I can use for something else down the road."
1 / 2
Copyright 2006 CBS. All rights reserved.