Monday, September 29, 2008

News You Can Use: One HSA myth debunked, survey finds

Although it’s long been said HSAs only appeal to the healthy and wealthy, a recent survey from UnitedHealthcare finds that HSA enrollment rates are highest (74%) among employees of small businesses (one to 99 employees) and lower-income individuals (64%).

“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,” says Meredith Baratz, vice president of market solutions at UnitedHealthcare.

Although the survey results create doubt about one HSA truism, they appear to have confirmed another: that employer funding is the key to spurring HSA enrollment. About two-thirds of employers provide funding to HSAs, UnitedHealthcare finds. Regardless of funding level, when an employer contributed to the HSA, 86% of consumers opened an account, compared with only 27% when the employer did not.

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