Health Savings Accounts are Working for Wide Range of People

More evidence is out today that shows that high deductible health plans (HDHPs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are working for a wide range of demographics — not just the “healthy and the wealthy” that some critics claim are the only ones to benefit.

UnitedHealthcare analyzed more than 200,000 of its 1.4 million members enrolled in an HSA-eligible health plan during the full year 2006 – the latest period for which full year data were available – and found that customers with Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are depositing money into the accounts and accumulating balances, regardless of their income level, age or employer size.

Here are some of the findings:

  • 74% work for small employers (<99 employees)
  • 64% earn less than $25,000 per year
  • 60% are singles, families and younger couples – consistent adoption across age, gender and life status
  • 88% had account balances greater than zero at the end of 2006 ($900 avg.)
  • 68% contributed their own money to HSAs

In a press release issued by the company, Meredith Baratz, vice president of Market Solutions at UnitedHealthcare said, “This latest research affirms our belief that Health Savings Accounts have broad appeal for many health care consumers, regardless of income, age or employer environment. More employers are realizing the value of health savings accounts as well, because HSAs enable businesses to help their employees play a more active role in their financial and physical well-being.”

Prior research from UnitedHealthcare found that members of a consumer-driven plan received preventive and evidence-based care at rates equivalent to, or in many cases higher than, members of traditional plans.

Has your company adopted an HSA-qualified health plan? Share your experiences by commenting about this post.

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