EBRI’s Health Savings Account Data in NYTimes

The Feb. 1 New York Times’ “Makng the Most of Your Money” column (“Bucks”) featured results from the January EBRI Issue Brief on health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

New York Times, Feb. 1, 2011

The article notes:

“According to the results, there is some evidence that consumers with the accounts are more likely to engage in certain cost-conscious behaviors than those without the accounts. Specifically, those with the accounts appear more likely to check whether the plan would cover care, more likely to ask for a generic drug, more likely to have a budget and more likely to check the price of service.

“On the other hand, the researchers also found that there are certain cost-conscious behaviors that those with the accounts don’t appear any more likely to engage in than those without the accounts. These included talking to a doctor about prescriptions and costs, asking a doctor to recommend a less costly drug and checking the quality rating of a hospital or doctor.”

The full Times article is online here.

The full EBRI report is online here.

EBRI: HSAs, HRAs Continue to Grow

The number of health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) increased to 5.7 million in 2010, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). Assets in these account-based health plans increased to $7.7 billion in 2010.

HSAs and HRAs can be used to reimburse participants for qualified medical expenses. They are offered by some employers in order to give their workers more control over funds allocated for health care services.

Growth in these accounts is tracked by the EBRI/MGA 2010 Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey, which also examines numerous other aspects about health care consumers who use these plans, in comparison with traditional health plans.

The findings are published in the January 2011 EBRI Issue Brief, “Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements: Assets, Account Balances, and Rollovers, 2006–2010,”

The press release is online here. The full report is online here.

Media Coverage:

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