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Health Savings Account

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I am self-employed and finding myself totally priced out of the health insurance market. I'm too small to have a group policy, and the insurance companies will no longer provide individual traditional fee-for-service coverage. I'm finding myself being forced into HMOs. which I think deliver bad care and rip off the consumer. What am I supposed to do?


Small business owner

Dear Small business owner,

You might consider a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Medical Savings Account (MSA). An HSA or MSA is health insurance, which consists of a high deductible medical coverage coupled with an individual savings account that is basically a medical IRA. Generally speaking, an HSA/MSA policy can allow a family to sock away up to several thousand dollars per year, tax deferred. Withdrawals can be made only to pay for medical services not paid for by the high deductible policy.

For more information on HSAs, go to the U.S. Dept. of Treasury at