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Large Employers Driving HSA Growth
Enrollees use accounts for current needs and to save for future expenses

By Stephen Miller, CEBS  7/28/2014
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Nearly 17.4 million Americans are now covered by health savings account/high-deductible health plans (HSA/HDHPs), according to a July 2014 report and summary infographic from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), an industry association. Enrollment in HSA plans has grown on average 15 percent annually since 2011.

The large group market (in most states, employers with more than 50 covered workers) continues to lead in enrollment gains and now represents 74 percent of all enrollment in HSA/HDHPs. The share of HSA/HDHP holders enrolled in large group plans jumped from 59 percent in January 2012 to 68 percent in January 2013, to 74 percent in January 2014.

The survey found that a vast majority of individuals enrolled in an HSA plan have access to a variety of tools and resources, including information for selecting appropriate providers and hospitals, to help make more informed health care decisions for themselves and their family members.

Immediate and Future Expenses

AHIP, in partnership with the American Bankers Association’s HSA Council, also released a separate report on HSA financial activity, showing that HSAs are being used both to cover immediate medical expenses and to save for future health care costs. Key findings from the  survey include:

More than half (55 percent) of all HSAs received personal contributions during 2012 and 44 percent of the accounts received employer contributions. Of those accounts, the average personal contribution was $2,337 and the average contribution from employers was $1,142.

58 percent of all accounts had withdrawals during the year. Of those accounts, the average withdrawal during 2012 was $2,081.

19 percent of all accounts had $0 available at the end of the year. Thirty-one percent had $1 to $499, 11 percent had $500 to $999, 12 percent had $1000 to $1999, 14 percent had $2000 to $4999, and 12 percent had $5,000 or more.

Data from HSA-provider Devenir shows that HSA assets have grown by 29 percent compounded over the last five years, and that 11 percent of HSA assets were invested in 2013, up from 4 percent in 2009.

“This study confirms that HSAs are being used as they were designed: to pay for routine health care needs and to save towards future medical expenses,” commented Kevin McKechnie, executive director of the American Bankers Association’s HSA Council.

Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM. Follow him on Twitter @SHRMsmiller. 

Related SHRM Videos:


Using HSAs for Current and Future Expenses
Kevin Crain, senior relationship executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, shares interesting trends regarding HSA spenders and savers.

HSAs and Financial Wellness

Employers are educating participants to think about preparing for post-employment health expenses, Kevin Crain explains.


Related SHRM Articles:

HSAs Outpacing HRAs in Adoption and Participation, SHRM Online Benefits, July 2014

HSAs More Effectively Engage Consumer than HRAs, SHRM Online Benefits, June 2014

For 2015, Higher Limits for HSA Contributions and Deductibles, SHRM Online Benefits, April 2014

Consumer-Driven Decision: Weighing HSAs vs. HRAs, SHRM Online Benefits, updated April 2014

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