Medical savings accounts: Opportunities for cost savings?

Gregory S. Zaric, Jeffrey S Hoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Interest in medical savings accounts (MSAs) as a potential tool to reduce healthcare costs has been widespread. A small number of countries have either implemented or run pilot programs of MSAs, and vigorous policy debates have taken place in several other countries about the potential merits of introducing MSAs as a method of paying for health care. In this paper we develop a model to assess the cost saving potential of MSAs in a publicly funded healthcare system. We assume that the public healthcare payer may choose between reimbursing healthcare expenditures through an MSA or through a form of third-party payer insurance. We use the model to identify the conditions under which MSAs may reduce costs. We illustrate using data on healthcare expenditures from Canada.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-513
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Transactions in Operational Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Health care
  • Health insurance
  • Healthcare reform
  • Medical savings accounts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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