Employer HSA Contribs on the Upswing

December 11, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Employer contributions to participants' health savings accounts increased from 2006 to 2008, according to newly published data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

An EBRI news release said the percentage of workers with an employer contribution increased from 61% in 2007 to 66% in 2008 after falling between 2006 and 2007.

Also, those with employee-only coverage funded by an employer contribution have seen that annual contribution increase, EBRI said. From 2006 and 2008 the percentage reporting that their employer contributed $1,000 or more to the account rose from 26% to 37%.

EBRI also reported that:

  • Among workers with family coverage, the percentage reporting an employer contribution of $200 to $499 decreased from 11% to 6% between 2006 and 2008, while the percentage reporting contributions of $500 to $749 increased from 4% to 10% between 2007 and 2008.
  • The percentage of workers with family coverage receiving an employer contribution of $1,000 or more increased from 52% in 2006 to 70% in 2007, but then declined to 59% in 2008.

The EBRI data also helps paint a picture of general usage trends for consumer-driven health plan/health savings accounts.

  • As of 2008, 9.8 million adults ages 21 - 64 were either in a consumer-driven health plan or were eligible to open a health savings account.From 2006 to 2008, the percentage of individuals in a consumer-driven health plan for one to two years increased from 30% to 41% and the percentage in these plans for three to four years increased from 9% to 19%.
  • Among individuals with traditional employment-based health benefits and a choice of health plan, 40% were eligible for a consumer-driven health plan in 2008, up from 33% in 2006. About 22 million workers were eligible for such a plan in 2008 but chose to remain in a more traditional plan.
  • The amount individuals have accumulated in their accounts has grown. The percentage of individuals reporting that they had nothing in their account declined from 14% in 2006 to 9% in 2008. The percentage of individuals reporting an account balance of at least $1,000 increased from 25% in 2006 to 44% in 2007, and remained at 43% in 2008.

The 2008 EBRI Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey involved a 16-minute online survey of 4,532 privately insured adults ages 21-64. The survey was conducted August 14 to 28, 2008.

More information is available at http://ebri.org/pdf/notespdf/EBRI_Notes_12-2008.pdf .