April 2, 2006 Contact: Robert Zirkelbach (202) 778-8493
27 percent of new individual market enrollees were previously uninsured
(Washington, DC) 4.5 million Americans are covered by lower-premium, high-deductible health insurance plans that are offered in conjunction with health savings accounts (HSAs), a 43 percent increase since last year, a new census released today by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) found.
The census found that more than one-fourth of those purchasing HSA plans in the individual market were previously uninsured and that almost half of those enrolled in such plans were over the age of 40.
The census also reveals that HSA plans provide value-added services. Most companies offer HSA plans that cover preventive care before the deductible is met, provide disease management programs for chronic conditions, and include a wide array of Web-based tools to help consumers make more informed decisions.
This is the first AHIP census that compiled information about the savings accounts that work in conjunction with HSA plans. Eighty-eight percent of accounts in place in 2006 had average annual balances of $2,500 or less, while 4 percent had average annual balances over $5,000. As of January 2007, 65 percent of accounts had been in place for less than one year.
Consumers and employers want coverage choices, said Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of AHIP. Our members have worked effectively to create HSA products that are built on the widespread availability of first-dollar preventive coverage, disease management services and online decision-support tools.
Other key findings from the census include:
- An increase of 1.3 million Americans enrolled in an HSA plan. Previous censuses found 3.2 million enrolled in January 2006 and 1.0 million enrolled in March 2005.
- Slightly over 1 million were enrolled in the small-group market and 2 million in the large-group market.
- HSA plans accounted for 25 percent of new products in the individual market, 17 percent of new policies in the small-group market, and 8 percent of new policies in the large-group market.
- Most companies (over 90 percent) offered HSA plan options with preventive benefits that are covered before the deductible is satisfied.
- Most companies offer disease management services for patients with asthma (82 percent), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (65 percent), congestive heart failure (84 percent), coronary artery disease (84 percent), and diabetes (91 percent).
- Most enrollees have access to consumer information tools such as online access to account information (90 percent), online health education tools (95 percent), hospital-specific quality information (85 percent), physician-specific quality information (50 percent), health care cost information (88 percent), and Personal Health Records (70 percent).
Health savings accounts were allowed starting in January 2004. Since then, AHIP has conducted a periodic census of health insurance plans participating in the HSA/HDHP health insurance market.
The full census is available at http://www.ahipresearch.org/.
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