More U.S. Companies Offering HSA Plans
The number of automakers and other large U.S. companies that are offering employees the option of high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts is increasing, the Detroit Free Press reports.
According to America's Health Insurance Plans, 3.2 million U.S. employees have enrolled in high-deductible health plans, up from one million last year, the Free Press reports. The Treasury Department estimates that between seven million and 21 million U.S. residents will have HSAs in four years.
Some critics are concerned that many low- and middle-income individuals are enrolling in the plans to benefit from the lower premiums and will not be able to afford the high deductibles. The average annual employer premium contribution for an HSA-qualified high-deductible health plan is $2,270 for an individual policy, nearly $1,200 less than the average premium with a traditional health plan, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Free Press reports.
For family coverage, the average annual employer premium contribution for an HSA plan is $6,245, nearly $2,000 less than the average traditional health plan premium, according to the Free Press. Under the high-deductible plans, policyholders will pay from $1,050 to $5,450 in out-of-pocket expenses before coverage begins, the Free Press reports.
Proponents say the HSAs can keep costs down, turn patients into more practical consumers and make health insurance available to more people, according to the Free Press (Merx, Detroit Free Press, 5/30).