Thursday, November 17, 2005

The “A” in HSA

Health Savings Accounts include the ability to sock money away to pay for potential claims. And they enjoy a special tax advantage, to boot. I’ve been selling HSA’s (and they’re forerunner, MSA’s) since about 1992, and I’ve always been impressed at how consistent my clients have been in putting dollars in their accounts. I’ve also found it interesting that these accounts do grow every year, because – for the most part – my clients choose to leave the funds untouched.
So it was heartening to learn that they’re not alone:
We know from previous posts that well over a million HSA’s have been purchased, and HSA Bank says that they've sold over 60,000 plans in 2005 alone. In fact, 9 out of 10 of their customers choose to contribute at least some money in their accounts. That’s over 55,000 folks last year alone, just at HSA Bank.
Another interesting factoid is that the average balance in these accounts is almost $1,600. If one assumes that most individuals choose the $2,000 deductible, that means a lot of folks who’ve got quite a nice cushion against a catastrophic claim. Of course, families would have a higher deductible still, but that $1,600 is a nice safety net even there.
It would be interesting to know the average income level (and net worth) of those folks who’ve set up accounts with HSA Bank. The article doesn’t disclose this information, but I wonder whether or not it would support my contention that it isn’t the very wealthy who are buying these plans.
I’ll post an update if/when this information becomes available.
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