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Correction to health care commentary

I recently authored an editorial titled, “Affordable universal coverage achievable” (Arizona Capitol Times, Sept. 11). In the article, I incorrectly cited that “20 percent of Americans under 65 own Health Insurance Accounts (HSAs).” I apologize for the editorial error and wish to issue a correction to that point.

Actually, nearly 150,000 Arizonans, or about 5 percent of those with private insurance own an HSA – and not 20 percent as I wrote about in my editorial.

For background, an HSA is a tax-free medical savings account coupled with a high-deductible health policy. HSAs, which began in 2003, are a fairly new concept to health care coverage. Despite the newness, HSA’s have grown exponentially in terms of lives covered. Prior to having the tax-free option, 41 percent of current HSA owners were uninsured.

Now more than 8 million Americans own an HSA; and one in four of those are 50 or older. HSAs are becoming an important tool to cover the uninsured, according to a report by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

- Rep. Nancy Barto is a Republican from District 7 in Phoenix who chairs the House Health and Human Services Committee. She can be reached at (602) 926-5766 or via e-mail at nbarto@azleg.gov.

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