Growth In Health Savings Account Usage

One of the most popular consumer-driven health plans in the private sector benefits are Health Savings Accounts (HSA). Just recently, the Bank of America (BoA) stated that in 2011, health savings accounts reached a 34 percent record growth with the addition of more than 50,000 accounts last year. The growth can be attributed to the new relationships built with employers and individuals and the increase in account use among employees of existing corporate customers.

Health Savings Accounts are the fastest growing accounts among the 600,000 BoA accounts. It has a growing 200,000 user accounts and has reached more than $300 million in account balances.

According to Kevin Crain, head of Institutional Retirement and Benefit Services for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the rising cost of health care to both employers and employers has triggered the significant increase in use of Health Savings Accounts. He said that they are constantly seeing a lot of companies, whether big or small, offering and adding consumer-driven health plans to their employees as a health benefit.

You will need a qualified high-deductible health plan to be able to start an HSA. These two always work together. With an HSA, it earns tax-free interest and the balance rolls over year after year. Even though employers can place contributions in the HSA of their employees, the one who still owns the account will be the employee or individual. If you are the employee with an HSA, you can do what you want with the funds in your savings account. Even if you decide to leave your employer, the contributions that your employer placed in the account is yours to keep. It moves with you even until you retire.

Crain said that HSA plans allow consumers to be more proactive when it comes to making their healthcare choices. Aside from the tax benefits offered by HSA plans, it gives consumers full control on how they want to spend their HSA funds or simply let it grow to prepare for retirement years. He also added that HSA plans simply motivate people to be more responsible on how they use healthcare services and make their own lifestyle decisions.

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