Aetna Rolling Out HSA Option

December 30, 2003 ( - Aetna is rolling out a Health Savings Account (HSA) option to the company's consumer-directed health plan line Aetna HealthFund.

Beginning January 1, 2004, Aetna will offer the HSA option alongside qualified indemnity, preferred provider, point-of-service, and HMO plan designs, on both a self-funded and fully insured basis (subject to state regulation).   This will allow employers to add preventive, vision, dental, and other benefits within HSA guidelines, according to a news release.

Aetna says employers can make the administration of an HSA option even easier by integrating the option into an existing health plan and other ancillary services.   This way, companies can have the benefit of single claim submission, access to Aetna’s provider network, integrated pharmacy, dental and long-term care offerings, and Web-based self-service tracking for all health benefits and nationwide coverage.

The new offering is possible after the signing of theMedicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 by President Bush earlier this month.   The bill provides consumers new alternatives for paying for health care expenses and planning for retirement with the creation of tax-deductible HSAs that permit unused balances to be carried forward from year to year and to be rolled over if the consumer changes employment. Under the law, contributions to the HSA can be made by the employer, the employee, or both.