Health Savings Accounts May Have ‘Breakout Year’ in 2008
Enrollment in high-deductible health plans linked with health savings accounts has continued to increase since they first became available in 2004, but 2008 "could be their breakout year," according to some health care consultants, the Washington Times reports.
According to consultants, enrollment in high-deductible health plans linked with HSAs in 2008 is expected to increase by an estimated four million to a total of 10 million as more large companies begin to offer such plans to help reduce health care costs.
Consultants said that they expect the increase in part because health insurers have begun to offer more high-deductible health plans linked with HSAs and in part because companies have become more effective in efforts to educate employees about the benefits of such plans.
Tracy Watts, a health care consultant for Mercer Human Resources Consulting, said, "This will be a good year for health savings accounts. We are seeing employers shift from traditional preferred provider organization plans and health reimbursement accounts to the health savings accounts for 2008."
Jay Savon, a health care consultant for Towers Perrin, said, "We're seeing the big guys come around," adding, "When the large corporations start to offer these programs, HSAs will really take off." Bob O'Meara, a health care consultant for BearingPoint, said, "We're at a critical mass where employers are searching for ways to offer these plans to workers" (Lopes, Washington Times, 8/20).