A few more points on CDHC.
The New York Times is reporting on banking industries and their plans to get in on the CDHC gold:
By 2010, more than 15 million Americans, or about 10 percent of all those insured, will have a health savings account, according to an estimate by DiamondCluster International, a management consulting firm.
The average individual's account balance, it projects, will grow from $1,500 today to about $3,500 in 2010. Even if people pull out some or all of their money to pay their medical bills, the ballooning balances may mean that $75 billion or so in new money to manage will soon be at stake.
So here's the thing. We've already discussed the 80/20 rule, and why HSA's don't make a lot of sense when you factor in the way health costs are distributed. But we're talking about a substantial period of time to even see HSA's supposed effects if only 10% of the population is projected to have them in 5 years.
Further, the amount of money in most accounts is projected to be $3,500? That will barely cover an individual's deductible, and only about a third of a family's. Looking at those stats, I really can't see how they'll make a dent in actual spending.
Trends, however, catch on easily. And the trend of shifting costs to employees is already among us.