Early HSA Advocate Dies

By Staff Report

Sep. 16, 2008

J. Patrick Rooney, a former chairman of Golden Rule Insurance Co. and an early proponent of savings accounts linked to high-deductible health insurance plans, died Monday, September 15, in Indianapolis. He was 80.

Rooney championed health savings accounts—long before they became politically popular—as a way of giving employees financial incentives to use medical care services more carefully.

In 1993, Golden Rule set up medical savings accounts—a predecessor to HSAs—and Rooney frequently cited their success in controlling costs in pushing Congress to pass legislation that authorized HSAs, which have greater tax advantages than MSAs.

In his later years, Rooney was active in publicizing how hospitals were charging uninsured patients rates far in excess of their rates for fully insured patients.

Filed by Jerry Geisel of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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