by Kristine Grow
February 16, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 20 million American consumers took advantage of the benefits offered by health savings accounts (HSA) in 2016, according to a survey conducted by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).
Since the introduction of HSAs in 2004, enrollment has grown steadily. Over the last decade, HSA participation has grown from just 3.2 million in 2006 to 20.2 million in 2016. On average, plans surveyed in 2015 and 2016 enrolled an additional 648,000 consumers, an average net increase in HSA participants of 3.4 percent.
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“HSAs give consumers more options and control over their health care – and that will help bring down costs,” said Marilyn Tavenner, President and CEO of AHIP. “HSAs give consumers the power to choose and the power to shop. With an HSA, consumers can look for the most cost-effective services and products that meet their individual needs. Not only do consumers save money, they can use these tax-free dollars to pay for them.”
Because these plans are designed specifically to empower consumers, many include decision-support tools designed to help their members make more informed health care decisions. In addition to health and wellness resources, most responding plans provide the following information to allow members to make informed decisions:
“As policymakers explore options for promoting affordable coverage, we are encouraged that they will explore proposals that increase the availability and flexibility of HSAs,” concluded Tavenner. “HSAs may also serve as a vehicle to deliver individual tax credits to people who purchase an individual plan.”