Portability of health savings accounts
Advocates of HSAs like to stress that they make health insurance more portable: that is, they decouple health insurance from employment. Portability can be good for the individual/employee as it can increase career options and make it easier to move, both geographically and from company to company. It can also grease the wheels of the economy and make the economic system more responsive to changes. By making it easier for people to leave their jobs, HSAs make the economy more efficient.
When people leave jobs where they have been getting health insurance, they usually have the option of signing up for continuing insurance, called COBRA. The COBRA coverage is usually more expensive than the old coverage as an employee, but people like having the option.
HSA money cannot be used for insurance premiums, but it can be used for COBRA overage. When the person gets a new job and signs up with a new HDHP, the COBRA can be cancelled. Because the HSA goes with the individual,
It’s apparent to most observers that the days of one-company careers are over. A government study estimated that people born between 1957 and 1964 held as estimated 10.2 jobs from ages 18 to 38. That means difference insurance plans and providers and different benefits. HSAs return, to some extent, ownership of decisions and insurance to the individual and away from the employer.
As with the upcoming social security crisis caused by demographic changes, many fear the aging baby boom generation will cause a financial crisis with an increase in health care spending. HSAs are a way to control costs, according to their advocates.
The large drugstore chain CVS has even integrated HSAs and FSAs into their insurance tracking computer system.