What did the President say and when did he say it?
I didn’t bother watching the President’s State of the Union speech, but apparently even those who did tune in didn’t catch what he was saying about HSAs. From the Kaiser Family Foundation:
[A]lmost half of those who heard the address incorrectly thought that the President talked about the implementation of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Despite extensive news coverage before and after the speech about the PresidentÃ‚Â’s proposals for expanding the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), the poll suggests a steep learning curve for the public on these new insurance arrangements. Seven out of 10 people (71%) say they have not heard of the term “health savings account” or do not know what the term means. When presented with three possible definitions, 38% correctly identified a description of the accounts as allowing people to set aside tax-free dollars to pay for routine health costs not covered by high-deductible insurance plans.
Given this confusion, it’s not exactly surprising to learn from Mercer that uptake of HSAs has been slower than expected.February 15, 2006