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Obama Victory Spreading Gloom Amongst HSA Custodians

There is some panic amongst Health Savings Account (HSAs) financial custodians after the Obama victory in the November Presidential election.

Reports received by Information Strategies, Inc. (ISI) seem to reflect growing fear that HSAs may come under attack by the new administration.

Some industry pundits said they thought the general problems in financial institutions were feeding considered cutbacks.

Despite firm denials by industry lobbyists, several banks, credit unions and other financial custodians reported their 2009 promotional budgets were being curtailed, along with growth projections.

The top official at a major regional bank said she was told to downsize her department, reduce promotional budgets and plan for a greatly reduced HSA account increase in 2009.

Her thoughts were echoed by an official of a large credit union.

Both of these respondents said they were given the order by senior officials, some of whom had attended a briefing in which a major Obama health advisor delivered a very negative view of HSAs.

Other industry pundits blamed the current banking troubles as the major reason for downsizing, but of 22 banks contacted by ISI, all but one said they were reviewing their plans and expectations for 2009.

Adding weight to the gloom were reports out of Washington that the new administration is exploring some form of nationalization of 401(k) accounts into the social security system.

ISI officials still predict the total number of accounts in force at the end of January 2009 will double those of January 2008.


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