Republicans in the state senate want taxpayers to help foot the bill for Iowans who open Health Savings Accounts and rack up big doctor’s bills. Senator Ron Wieck,a Republican from Sioux City who is an insurance agent, believes one reason Iowans aren’t opening Health Savings Accounts is because they worry how they’d cover a big deductible before they’ve deposited enough money in that account.
Wieck proposes that Iowa taxpayers loan up to 10-million dollars a year to Iowans who start up a Health Savings Account and then don’t yet have enough money to cover a big medical expense. Wieck says the Iowan would have up to 12 months to repay the loan to the state.
Wieck says higher deductibles are a wave of the future, and will hopefully cause people to think twice before racking up unnecessary medical expenses. “We all need to adjust our thinking on our insurance,” Wieck says. As Iowans face ever-higher deductibles in order to get affordable health insurance, Wieck says it makes sense to encourage Iowans to open Health Savings Accounts that can be used to cover those deductibles.
Wieck says banks and insurance companies will probably “work harder” to educate Iowans about Health Savings Accounts if the State of Iowa sets up the revolving loan fund to help pay medical costs in the first months a person has a Health Savings Account with just a small balance.