USE OF HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS UP 35 PERCENT
May 14, 2008
The number of Americans with insurance plans tied to health savings accounts has passed the 6 million mark, according to America's Health Insurance Plans. HSAs are tax-favored, individually owned savings accounts that can be used to pay for medical expenses in conjunction with a high-deductible insurance plan. About 6.1 million Americans were covered through HSA plans in January 2008, up 35 percent over the same period a year earlier, according to AHIP.
- About 30 percent of individuals covered by HSA plans worked for small businesses,
- 45 percent worked for large employers, and
- 25 percent bought insurance in the individual market.
- The small-group market is the fastest-growing segment for HSAs.
The AHIP survey found that HSAs are helping more Americans afford health insurance. For example:
- HSA plans accounted for 31 percent of new coverage in the small-group market over the past year, and 27 percent of new coverage in the individual market.
- The average deductible for the best-selling HSA plans in the small-group market was $2,244 for single coverage and $4,356 for family coverage, according to AHIP.
- Average annual out-of-pocket limits were $3,462 for single coverage and $6,690 for family coverage.
- Premiums averaged $3,189 for single coverage and $8,125 for family coverage.
The increasing popularity of HSAs is a result of managed care's failure, says John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis. The best way to control health care costs is to put patients in control of more of their health care dollars.
Source: Kent Hoover: "Use Of Health Savings Accounts Up 35%; Critics See Tax Shelter," Bizjournal, May 12, 2008.
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