Regular readers know that we're big HSA (Health Savings Account) fans here, so it's nice to see that they continue to gain traction. According to the latest from the Association of Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), this is indeed the case:
"An annual census by ... AHIP ... shows that the number of people covered by health savings accounts/high-deductible health plans (HSA/HDHPs) totaled 8.0 million in January 2009."
That's an increase of over 200% in two years. Interestingly, the fastest growing segment seems to be the large group market, up about 35%. I don't do much in that arena; my doctor says I don't get enough stress, and recommended that I concentrate on the small group and individual markets to fix that.
Speaking of the individual market, AHIP's survey found that over half of those folks covered by an HSA plan were over age 40. Once again, we put the lie to the "only the young and healthy buy into HSA's" canard.
There's a lot more in the study, but it's clear that these plans have become "mainstreamed" in the market, and have become much more acceptable in all segments. Although I'm not holding my breath, I think that these kinds of plans, which require more individual commitment and responsibility to health care, could make a valuable contribution to health care reform efforts.
And speaking of HSA's, the new contribution limits for 2010 are in:
The max contribution limit for individual HSAs goes to $3,050 (up $50 from this year); for families, the new max is set at $6,150 (an increase of $200 from '09 levels).
Next year's minimum deductible will be $1,200 for individuals, and $2,400 for families, an increase of $50 for the former and $100 for the latter.
And, finally, the 2010 max OOP (out of pocket) for individuals increases by $150, to $5,950; for families, the max will be $11,900 (up $300).
Something about those numbers seemed "off" to me, so I broke out the ol' Excel and plugged them in. The maximum contribution amounts for 2010 increased 1.6% for individuals, and 3.25% for families. But the annual potential exposure (out of pocket maximum) increased about 2.5% for both individuals and families. This seems unfair to folks with single coverage, since they're going to be playing an impossible game of "catch up."
Just my $.02 (up 3.76% from last year!)