Tag: "Health Savings Accounts"
[T]he number of people who use HSAs and HRAs continues to climb, as do their contributions to the accounts, according to [EBRI]…
Forty-two percent of employees said they contributed at least $1,500 to an HSA last year, while just 15 percent said they made no contribution, the institute found…
Seventy percent of workers with an HSA or HRA said their employer contributed to their accounts, and the percentage of employers making contributions of more than $1,000 rose from 14 percent to 22 percent.
The growing prevalence and amount of deductibles has resulted in an increasing percentage of covered workers enrolled in a plan with high deductibles. In 2012, about a third (34%) of covered workers were enrolled in a plan with a deductible of a $1,000 or more compared to 10% in 2006, and 14% were enrolled in a plan with a deductible of $2,000 or more compared to 3% in 2006. The percentages of workers include workers who are enrolled in a high deductible plans with a savings account (HDHP/SO), such as an HSA or an HRA, and those who are in a plan without a savings account.
Source: Kaiser Health News.
We haven’t reported on what is happening in the market for Consumer Driven Health in a while, so there is a lot to look at.
We’ll start with a study by the Health Care Service Corporation (the Blue plans in Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico) on the experience of their customers with their CDH plan, known as BlueEdge. Enrollment in BlueEdge has passed 1.5 million people this year and this study tracks them from before they entered the Consumer-Directed plans, which include both HSAs and HRAs.
A press release reports that BlueEdge enrollees –
- Were four percent more likely to use preventive services.
- Reduced overall utilization by 12 percent.
- Were 10 percent more likely to use generic medications.
- Spent 24 percent less on inpatient and 8 percent less on outpatient services.
- Reduced hospital ER care by 12 percent.
These are changes in behavior by the same people before and after they joined the BlueEdge program. Unfortunately, the study itself is not available to the public, but a summary on the company web site reports that the reductions grew over time, dropping by 9.1% in the first year, but by 11.4% over three years.
The survey finds that as of this January, 13.5 million Americans are enrolled in insurance plans compatible with HSAs — an increase of more than 18% compared to January 2011. What’s more, enrollment remains evenly distributed along age and gender lines, disproving the notion that HSA insurance policies favor the young and healthy. And the survey also demonstrates that most HSA plan holders have access to tools, including price and quality data, that can make them better consumers of health care.
Three separate provisions in the statute, and regulations implementing the law, will reduce access to HSA plans:
- ObamaCare’s essential health benefits package contains new restrictions on deductibles and cost-sharing, which will prevent at least some current HSA plans from being offered.
- ObamaCare’s medical loss ratio regulations also impose new restrictions that studies show will hit HSA plans particularly hard, and could force individuals to change their current form of coverage.
- The ObamaCare statute does not specify that cash contributions made to an HSA will be counted towards the new federal actuarial value standards. And a February bulletin released by HHS in advance of upcoming rulemaking indicates that under the Administration’s approach, not all contributions into an HSA will count towards the new minimum federal standards – meaning some HSA policies will not be considered “government-approved.”
More from Chris Jacobs on ObamaCare’s negative effect on health coverage.
Castlight Health [is a] nascent health care start-up…with the goal of giving insurance subscribers meaningful information on health care costs. Castlight, in the simplest terms, wants to bring comparison shopping to health care.
It launched, last year, a Web site where employees on [Health Saving Account] plans can compare what doctors charge for the same service. The site…also includes other patients’ quality rankings of doctors, alongside information on what remains in an individual’s account.
More from Sarah Kliff at Ezra Klein’s blog.