Medicare alternative said taking off

NEW YORK, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Health savings accounts, the new approach to paying for health care, are starting to take off, it was reported Thursday.

The plan, part of the Medicare overhaul, is billed as the most significant savings vehicle to hit individual investors since the IRA and the 401(k), the Wall Street Journal said.


It combines a tax-free account to pay for medical expenses with a high-deductible health plan with low premiums.

Tens of thousands of the new accounts reportedly have been opened and the number is expected to grow sharply in coming months as the new option is offered to more individuals and employers.

About 20 financial institutions, including J.P. Morgan Chase and Mellon Financial Corp., are marketing HSAs, which allow holders to invest the money until it's needed for medical costs.

Some 50 insurers, including Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp. and Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, have introduced the high-deductible health policies that people must have to open an HSA.

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