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Medical Savings Accounts

Type: Research Studies
Date Published: May 1, 1998
Research Topics:
Medical savings accounts (MSAs) are health accounts that are established in conjunction with high-deductible health insurance. They can be set up by individuals, employers, or by the government. The most common type is the American employer-funded MSAs. In this type of health plan, employers purchase a high-deductible, or catastrophic, insurance policy for their employees, which is much cheaper than a traditional insurance package. Employers then deposit a portion of the funds saved into MSAs for their employees, who then use these funds to purchase medical care. Once these funds have been exhausted, the employees are responsible for the payment of their medical care up to the cap where the catastrophic insurance begins. All of the MSA funds belong to the employee, including any funds remaining in the account after a specific period (usually a year).
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