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HSAs - A Remarkable Success Story

February 2, 2006 - Press Release Contact: Kelly Loussedes, Director of Public Relations
(703) 276-3835 or kloussedes@nahu.org

Arlington VA -- The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) commends President Bush formaking the health care of the American people an important part of his domestic agenda as mentioned in theState of the Union Address last night.

"Access to affordable health insurance is our highest health care priority," stated NAHU EVP and CEO JanetTrautwein. "President Bush proposes a sensible solution that would implement market-driven initiatives torestore competition to the health care market through health savings accounts (HSAs). HSAs are a low-costhealth insurance option that allow Americans to contribute money, tax-free, to health savings accounts to helppay for health insurance costs not covered by their insurance and to save for future medical expenses.

The President’s emphasis on making HSAs more appealing to a broader number of individuals and employers is a vital part of reducing the number of uninsured Americans. So far, more than a million people are covered by HSA-compatible insurance policies and recent survey data found that HSAs are being adopted by all income levels; people with incomes of $50,000 or below purchased 40 percent of HSA plans, and more than two-thirds of HSA plan purchasers were previously uninsured.

"Not only are HSAs helping more Americans afford health insurance, they are also addressing the issue of rising health care costs. HSAs give consumers a reason to be value-conscience shoppers in the health care marketplace. When patients are paying more attention to the cost of health care and demanding value for their dollars, total health care spending will decline.

"One of the primary objectives of health insurance reform in America is to provide access to high quality coverage for all Americans that is affordable. Many policymakers believe insurance is not available to a majority of the uninsured due to barriers to access health care. In fact, the main barrier is the cost of health insurance. Rather than exploring affordability solutions, however, many reformers propose schemes that change the foundation of our current health care system which will actually make it more expensive and, therefore, less accessible for millions of Americans.

"We believe a better system can be realized through Americans having choices and control over their health care decisions - with patients working with doctors to make those decisions. The best way to do this is through choice and competition. Choice and competition can work in the health care arena as it has in most sectors of our economy by encouraging innovation, new ideas for controlling costs and delivering health care in a more effective way."

The National Association of Health Underwriters represents 20,000 professional health insurance agents and brokers who provide insurance for millions of Americans. NAHU is headquartered in Arlington, VA. For more information, visit www.nahu.org or contact Kelly Loussedes, director of public relations, at 703-276-3835 or kloussedes@nahu.org.

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