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Jan. 1 Start for Health Savings Plan

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WASHINGTON, Dec 22, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A tax-free medical savings account for all Americans goes into effect Jan. 1 to help families obtain affordable health care, the White House said Monday.

The savings plan was a provision of Medicare reform legislation signed by President George W. Bush earlier in December.

Under the health medical savings plan a family can contribute up to 100 percent of their normal health insurance policy deductible, or $4,500 in pretax dollars annually. A single individual can contribute up to $1,000 annually.

Monies not used stay in the account and accrue tax-free interest.

"This account is a good option and available to all Americans," spokesman Scott McClellan said. "This will help more families get the health care they need at a price they can afford."

The White House said information on the plan would be available through the Treasury Department.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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