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Should You Sign Up For a Health Savings Account?

PersonalFinancePig_400Just as companies campaigned in the 1990s to move employees toward 401(k)s and away from company-funded pensions, they are now trying to end company-provided health insurance in favor of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). They reason that they can no longer afford to provide health insurance, and workers should be footing more of the bill. But is an HSA the right move for you? Find out more in Your Best Health Care Now: Get Doctor Discounts, Save With Better Health Insurance, Find Affordable Prescriptions .

If you work for a large company, you or someone close to you is likely to be pressured to sign up for an HSA soon—if you haven’t been already. Studies show that the number of workers at big companies who have signed up for HSAs has tripled in the past eight years. Overall, by 2016, there were 14.5 million HSA accounts, with $28 billion in assets, and another million new workers were expected to enroll by the end of the year.

My Advice. Do not rush to join that parade. By and large, you’ll be better off sticking with company insurance if your boss allows you to do that.

HSAs can be the best choice, but only for a select group: the young and fortunate. If you are young, remain healthy, and make a good income during your career, you could accumulate more than enough in your HSA to pay for your family’s health care and pass on the rest to your heirs. But relatively few hit the young, healthy, and wealthy trifecta.

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