Anybody will tell you that out-of-pocket medical costs are too high.  People are paying upward of $12,000 in expenses before their insurance carrier covers anything. These people may have insurance, but their policy in many ways acts as a self-rationing health care device. When narrow networks and double digit premium percentage increases are thrown into the mix, patients who require frequent medical attention can find themselves in a difficult situation when it comes to accessing necessary health care.

The Wall Street Journal recently featured a column debating what to do about rising out-of-pocket spending on health care services.

Keep in mind that the solution is NOT to expand government price controls on health care services and payments to doctors and hospitals.

Grace-Marie Turner, President of the Galen Institute, instead argues how price transparency and tax preferential accounts like health savings accounts (HSAs) can help reduce rising health care costs and make out-of-pocket medical expenses more affordable for more people:

 The only way we can move to a true market in the health sector is for people to be engaged as active consumers. And that means price visibility and real control over spending.

If price visibility were established, products such as health savings accounts could help more consumers make better-informed choices, save money and drive down costs. HSAs have been proven to reduce total medical costs, boost participation in prevention and wellness programs, and improve access to care. 

Read the full column here.