Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans are embracing health savings accounts, a centerpiece of President Bush's healthcare reform plan. According to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Blues plans offer HSAs in 38 states, with the products available to individuals in 32 states and to small and large employers in 34 states. By 2006, 39 of the 41 independent Blues plans intend to offer HSAs, and the products will be available in all states except Rhode Island, the association said. HSAs pair a high-deductible insurance policy with a personal savings account that allows consumers to set aside money tax-free for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Created by the Medicare Modernization Act, HSAs are becoming popular as a lower-cost alternative to traditional insurance. Earlier this week, longtime staff-model HMO Kaiser Permanente announced plans to roll out its own HSA next year. -- by Laura B. Benko
Blues plans adopting HSAs as lower-cost option
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