The Employee Benefits Research Institute has just published its first analysis of HSA accounts, balances, and distributions, based on its own HSA database. This is an excellent report, in part because it also looks at other similar reports and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each.
It is well worth downloading and saving the entire report and using it as a baseline to watch the growth of HSAs over the coming years.
Here are some of the bullet points –
- This year marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of health savings accounts (HSAs) under the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003.
- Starting from scratch a decade ago enrollment in HSA-eligible health plans is estimated to range from 15.5 million to 20.4 million policyholders and their dependents, and it has also been estimated that there are 10.7 million accounts holding $19.3 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2013. Seventy percent of HSAs were opened since 2011.
- The average HSA balance at the end of 2013 was $1,766, up from $1,280 at the beginning of the year. Average account balances increased with the age of the owner of the account. Account balances averaged $697 for owners under age 25 and $4,460 for owners ages 65 and older.
- HSAs with either individual or employer contributions accounted for 69 percent of all accounts and 87 percent of the assets. Six percent of these accounts ended the year with a zero balance.
- On average, individuals who made contributions deposited $2,032 to their account. HSAs receiving employer contributions received $1,184, on average.
- Four-fifths of HSAs with a contribution also had a distribution for a healthcare claim during 2013.
- Among HSAs with claims, the average amount distributed for healthcare claims was $1,953.
- Distributions for healthcare claims increased with age, with the exception of those ages 65 and older. Average annual distributions were $667 for account owners under age 25; $2,335 for account owners ages 55-64; and $2,017 for account owners ages 65 and older. Average annual distributions were higher for accounts that were older. However, the likelihood of taking a distribution for health care claims was higher among accounts opened more recently.
- HSAs are likely to keep growing: It is expected that 30 percent of larger employers will offer an HSA-eligible health plan or HRA as the only plan option by 2015.
EBRI also reports that HSA enrollment grew a whopping 16 percent from 2012 to 2013 and expects that by 2016 HSAs will be offered by 78% of large (over 5,000 employees), 64% of medium (500 + employees), and 34% of small (10-499 employees) employers.