On Feb. 1, the Grand Blanc Community School District, 10 miles south of Flynt, Mich., saw the future of healthcare, not fully formed, but the outline was there to behold. On that momentous day, 25 Grand Blanc school administrators shifted from the old managed care system to new health savings accounts (HSAs). Where they once struggled with co-pays and deductibles and referrals and precertified service, they now had only one thing to worry about–a $1,200 upfront deductible for singles or $2,500 if an administrator had a spouse or children. The district pays the deductible for the administrators. After the administrator uses up the deductible, then the insurance–on which premiums run signi-
ficantly less–would kick in at 100%. "If you don't use all that money, it's yours," says Dana Taylor, director of business affairs for the Grand Blanc Community School District. "That's the savings account. As long as you spend it only on medical costs, it's never taxable and you can keep it for your retirement."

HSAs–a system somewhat dependent upon the chimera of a well-informed and responsible healthcare consumer–have been around since 2003. What makes the Grand Blanc plan unique rests primarly with the providers–and the Web-based support network that is expected to make effective consumer-directed healthcare less of an unattainable goal.

The Grand Blanc school plan comes out of a seven-month partnership between a LaSalle Bank healthcare company and ConnectYourCare (CYC), a healthcare innovator created in 2002 by Jamie Spriggs, the current president and CEO. In July 2005, Baltimore-based Revolution Health Group became a major investor.

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