Benefits

Number of HRAs and HSAs Grow, while Account Balances Fall

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | January 11, 2011

January 11, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The number of health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) increased to 5.7 million in 2010, according to a January 2011 Issue Brief by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

The EBRI/MGA 2010 Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey also found assets in these accounts increased to $7.7 billion in 2010, up from $835.4 million in 2006. However, the report said, the average account balance dropped slightly in 2010 to $1,355 , down from $1,419  in 2009.   

Men held higher average balances ($1,525) than women ($1,321). Older individuals (ages 55–64) held higher average balances ($1,791), than those younger than ($1,250–$1,400).   

Additionally, the study found that people who exercised, did not smoke, and were not obese held higher balances than those with less healthy behaviors.  

Minorities with HRAs or HSAs have higher account balances than whites with these accounts. On average, minorities have an account balance of $1,531, while whites have an account balance of $1,387. However, both experienced a decline between 2009 and 2010; the decline was larger among minorities.  

Account balances increased with household income. The average account balance was $1,166 among individuals with less than $50,000 in household income; $1,303 among individuals with $50,000−$99,999 in income; and $1,742 among individuals with $100,000 or more in income. Account balances increased for those with less than $50,000 in household income; fell for those with $50,000−$99,999, and stayed the same for those with $100,000 or more.  

Despite a decline in the average rollover amount in 2010, total assets being rolled over have been increasing - $4.2 billion was rolled over in 2010, up from $4 billion in 2009. The average rollover increased from $592 in 2006 to $1,295 in 2009, and fell to $1,029 in 2010. The percentage of individuals without a rollover decreased from 23% in 2006 to 10% in 2009 and increased slightly to 13% in 2010.  

The January EBRI Issue Brief is here.