My company pays 80% of our health insurance premiums, the employee pays the other 20% of the premium. We have pretty decent coverages, however, the premiums across the board have been going up an average of 10% each year. This year we are looking at other options and the option that my boss finds most interesting is an HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan). An HDHP has a high deductible but the overall savings in premiums for our company will be about $56,000. The deductible for a single employee is $2000 and $4000 for an employee covering family. Once the deductibles are met, the patient pays nothing out of pocket. Holy Deductible, right?! Since I am the HC Administrator/Human Resource person in our company, I was able to sit in on the meeting we had this past week with a new set of brokers trying to get boss to buy into this program/type of coverage. Eneter the HSA. The Health Savings Account (HSAs) comes into play as a separate savings account that is set up for each covered employee. The employee can take the money they save from paying a lower premium and put into this HSA to use until they meet their deductible. Likewise, the company can also use some of thier savings from paying a lower premium and deposit a designated amount of money into each employees HSA to help them meet their deductible amount. I am not against it, in fact it really sounds like a good plan. We will still have the same insurer and have all the same coverages. Our monthly premiums will be considerably less...I will save about $4500 annually (not up front) of my own money paying a lower premium. My boss has generally been a fair and generous employer in the past and it sounded like he was leaning towards depositing the full deductible amount per employee (amounts depending if they are single or a family, of course). One of the brokers injected that it might be more fair if he were to deposit a specific amount in each employees account and if there is a difference, the employee can make up the difference by making his/her own contributions. My problem is this: Currently, I can afford a copay of say, $15/25 for an office visit. Going forward, I cannot afford to plunk out upwards of $300/visit until I meet my $4000 deductible, understand? My boss turned to me during the meeting and asked me if I thought I'd ever meet the deductible...I sort of stammered because it really does depend on the year, but in RX alone, some years I've gone over $4000 in copays! His son is in rehab for crying out loud - is he that clueless still? If one of us has to have an MRI, how could we NOT meet the deductibles? So, in the long run, the new plan will save all of us money. In the short term, however, it may mean more out of pocket costs until we meet our deductibles and what if we never do? That means we are paying to have 'emergency only' insurance because there are some who may not reach the deductible, myself included. And let's not forget that each year is a new year, which may mean more out of pockey expenses each year. The up side is that if we don't use up all the money in the HSA, whatever is left over from the prior year will roll over. If my boss were to take some of his $56,000 in savings and put the total of deductibles into each employees HSA it amounts to $24,000, which means he will still have a significant savings of almost $32,000. After that, depending on the usage and if the employee decides to fund his/her own HSA, it may mean the company will never again have to make a contribution. But if the company doesn't fund the HSA's at all, I see the employee paying way more out of pocket expenses and having coverage for emergencies only because a hospitalization of some sort is the only time a deductible might be met - or an MRI, or extensive testing, blood work, etc. To me, and the broker agreed when I said it, this is like gambling that the employees will not use their health ins. coverage and may think once or twice or three times before going to see their doctor. I can envision some employees suffering until things get so bad or painful that they end up in an ER instead of just simply seeing their family physician. Or, on the other hand, waiting over a weekend to see their Dr only to be sent to the ER because their condition has worsened. I am meeting with boss on Monday to discuss with him the details. I think he's going with this program - I just hope he is going to fund everyone's accounts to meet the deductibles! Oh, I almost forgot - another perk to having an HSA is that we can use the money in there to cover any other medical need, such as aspirin, Mucinex, syringes, or dental copays, etc., as long as it's medically related. If you're still with me, what do you think of this? And if you have any experience with this setup, how do you like it (or not)?