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August 2008 return to the table of contents

HSAs Chosen By One In Seven Respondents Tracked In Study

One in seven individuals searching for healthcare insurance chose an HSA, according to data accumulated by Information Strategies, Inc. (ISI).

This representative sample of 2,015 Americans were tracked as they sought individual or family healthcare insurance as opposed to company sponsored offerings.

Of those who chose an HSA insurance plan, 77% opened a custodial account within 30-days of obtaining insurance, whichi is a pre-condition for enrollment.

Almost three of five (58%) chose a custodian recommended by the insurer or agent/broker.

One in 10 respondents said they would not be opening a custodial account and the remainder said they would wait for as long as six months before acting.

Referrals by friends, family and agents was still the number one reason for choosing any insurance plan.

The study, which tracked the consumers over five months showed that price was also a major factor for choosing an insurance company offering and fees were the most cited determining factor for custodial accounts.

A majority (57%) said they viewed the HSA as a financial product that combined healthcare protection.

Of the total respondents, 761 said they did not currently have healthcare insurance.

More than one in 10 (13%) said they had a pre-existing condition but only 71 were rejected by insurance providers.

More details of this study will be available in September.

ISI also reported that while not as strong as originally projected, 2nd quarter numbers for HSA insurance and account growth still show a marked increase.

"We still expect that January 2009 numbers for both HSA insured and custodial accounts will double from January 2008 totals," said Donald Mazzella, Publisher.

A harbinger of this trend is the announcement by OptumHealth Bank, that it reached more than $600 million in health savings account (HSA) deposits, a significant industry milestone.

“OptumHealth Bank has achieved this milestone as a result of a nearly 50 percent increase in HSA assets from one year ago, as more and more consumers choose HSAs to help them plan, save and pay for their health care,” says Kelvin Anderson, president, OptumHealth Bank.

“Deposits, investments and health care spending all increased substantially even during a time of economic stress and uncertainty – a testament to the foresight of individuals who understand the value of HSAs and the need to manage their health care money wisely,” he added.

 

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