8 Million People Now Covered by HSA-Qualified Health Plans

An annual census by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) of U.S. health insurance carriers released this week shows that the number of people covered by health savings accounts/high-deductible health plans (HSA/HDHPs) totaled 8.0 million in January 2009. This is up from 6.1 million in January 2008, 4.5 million in January 2007, and 3.2 million in January 2006.

The survey, which polled virtually all private health insurance carriers in the HSA/HDHP market, not only continued showed robust growth but growth within all segments of the market. Between January 2008 and January 2009, the fastest growing market for HSA/HDHP products was large-group coverage which rose by approximately 35 percent, followed by small-group coverage which similarly rose at 34 percent.

Likewise the gender of those adopting this form of coverage was evenly split with fifty-two (52) percent male and forty-eight (48) percent female participants.

Enrollment in the individual market also rose. As of January 1.8 million individuals were covered by HSA/HDHPs, up from 1.5 million covered lives in January 2008, and fifty-three (53) percent of all individual market enrollees-including dependents covered under family plans-were aged 40 or older.

The states with the highest levels of HSA/HDHP enrollment were California (854,000),

Florida (524,000), Illinois (497,000), Texas (476,000), Ohio (464,000), and Minnesota

(388,000).The highest premiums for HSA/HDHPs were reported in Massachusetts where they averaged $361 for single coverage and $925 for family coverage. The lowest priced plans were found in North Dakota where they averaged $210 for single coverage and $461 for family coverage.

Health savings account (HSA) plans give consumers incentives to manage their own health care costs by coupling a tax-favored savings account used to pay medical expenses with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) that meets certain requirements for deductibles and out-of-pocket expense limits. Most HDHPs cover preventive care services (e.g., routine medical exams, immunizations, well-baby visits) without requiring the enrollee to first meet the deductible. The funds in the HSA are owned by the individual and may be rolled over from year to year. HSAs were authorized starting in January 2004.

Read the entire report here: http://www.ahipresearch.org/pdfs/2009hsacensus.pdf

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