HSA Plan Growth Continues; Most Provide Decision Support Tools

An 18% jump in health savings account enrollment since 2011

By Stephen Miller, CEBS June 12, 2012

More than 13.5 million Americans were covered by health savings accounts (HSAs) linked to high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) in 2012, a more than 18 percent increase over 2011, according to survey findings released by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), an industry group. Moreover, the survey found that the vast majority of HSA plans provide patients with important decision-support tools to help them make more informed health care decisions.

HSAs were authorized starting in January 2004. Since then, AHIP has conducted an annual survey of the number of people covered by HSAs linked to HDHPs. The 2012 survey shows that enrollment in HSA plans tripled over a five-year period, from 4.5 million enrollees in January 2007 to 13.5 million in January 2012.

“Millions of individuals, families and employers have chosen an HSA plan for the affordable, high-quality coverage these plans provide,” said Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of AHIP. “HSA plans are providing patients with information and resources to make more informed health care decisions.”

Survey Highlights

Results from the survey included these key findings:

The number of people with HSA coverage rose to more than 13.5 million in January 2012, up from 11.4 million in January 2011, 10.0 million in January 2010, 8.0 million in January 2009, and 6.1 million in January 2008.

From January 2011 to January 2012, the fastest growing market for HSA plans was for large-group coverage, which rose by 26 percent, followed by small-group coverage, which grew by 9 percent.

In the individual market, 2.5 million people were enrolled in HSA plans, while approximately 3 million people were enrolled in HSA coverage in the small-group market and nearly 8 million were covered in the large-group market.

States with the highest levels of HSA enrollment were California (1,001,943 enrollees), Texas (755,432 enrollees), Illinois (717,384 enrollees), Ohio (662,999 enrollees) and Florida (539,778 enrollees).


Consumer Decision Support Tools

Health savings account plans are giving patients tools and information to make more informed health care decisions for themselves and their family members. The survey found that the vast majority of HSA plans provide enrollees with consumer decision support tools:


Additional slides showing results from the AHIP survey can be viewed here.

2012 SHRM Survey: More Employers Offering HSAs

The Society for Human Resource Management’s 2012 Employee Benefits survey revealed that health savings accounts (HSAs) were among the few benefits offered by more employers in 2012 than a year earlier.

According to the survey findings, 43 percent of employers offered HSAs in 2012, up from 35 percent in 2011 and 29 percent in 2008.

An increasing number of employers also indicated that they made contributions to their employees' HSAs, according to SHRM’s survey. A quarter of employers (25 percent) said they were making such contributions in 2012, up from 20 percent in 2011 and 13 percent in 2008.

Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.​

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