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Kaiser Foundation Study Shows HSA Strength, But Not Penetration Of Smaller Firms

Employee contributions to company-sponsored healthcare programs have increased more than 300% since 1999.

At the same time, according to the latest Kaiser Foundation survey, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) rose significantly and the average deductible jumped more than 32%.

Among the other findings of the widely viewed study:

  • The average annual family premium for HMOs in the U.S. reached $13,122, HRET reported today.
  • Family premiums for high-deductible plans with savings accounts were the lowest again: $10,122.
  • The average family deductible rose in one year from $1,040 to $1,344 for workers with an aggregate deductible.

High-deductible health plans with a savings option include:

  1. Health plans with a deductible of at least $1,000 for single coverage and $2,000 for family coverage offered with an Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), referred to as “HDHP/HRAs,” and
  2. High-deductible health plans that meet the federal legal requirements to permit an enrollee to establish and contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA), referred to as “HSA-qualified HDHPs.”

Thirteen percent of firms offering health benefits offer an HDHP/SO in 2008.

While there is no statistical difference from the 10% reported in 2007, there has been a statistically significant increase from 7% in 2006.

While the Kaiser Foundation study said firms with 1,000 or more workers are more likely to offer HDHP/SOs (22%) than firms with 3 to 199 workers (13%) or 200 to 999 workers (15%), these numbers do not track with Information Strategies, Inc.'s surveys which put the figure much higher.

Among firms offering health benefits, 3% offer an HDHP/HRA and 11% offer an HSA-qualified HDHP; neither estimate is a significant increase from the percentages reported in 2007.

ISI has found that more than 27% or small firms surveyed (2,091 in third quarter 2008) said they were offering HSAs as an option or full replacement.

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