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Study scrutinizes health savings accounts

High-deductible insurance plans with health savings accounts are touted as a way to control runaway costs. But a new study in the journal Health Affairs casts doubt on that claim. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

The study says high-deductible health savings accounts won't likely curb overall spending because they don't increase out-of-pocket expenses for the people who use the most medical services.

Jamie Court is with the non-profit Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. He says health savings accounts aren't the answer.

Court: The biggest problem we have in the system is the uninsured people who go to the emergency room, cause they don't have access to a primary care doctor, and they get very sick, and that's where they're treated. And that's where the big costs are. And healthcare savings accounts don't address that problem.

Still, supporters maintain health savings accounts can reduce costs and make health insurance more available. Some three-million Americans are enrolled in such plans. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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