A new Alegeus study identifies health savings account (HSA) owners as the savviest health care consumers.
The study, which surveyed over 1,400 U.S. health care users, finds HSA participants are more well-versed in health care concepts compared to the general population. From interpreting specialized documents to understanding term language, these users are more likely to feel confident navigating throughout the system, with 39% suggesting they feel confident while deciphering health insurance details. Additionally, 34% say they feel confident examining plan details to determine health plan costs, 38% feel confident when reading terms for plan coverage, and 51% feel confident while analyzing important documents.
Twenty-five percent of HSA participants place an increased emphasis on cost reduction, 23% say they are likely to base decisions on costs, and 44% hold a confident attitude overall when anticipating out-of-pocket costs.
Concerning spending behavior, HSA participants are more practical than those not contributing to an HSA. These participants are more likely to research and compare costs before making a purchase (46%), determine prices before receiving services (43%), research the quality and effectiveness in a product or service (42%), and seek respective alternatives (37%).
The survey reveals only 13% of HSA participants have invested their account assets, and overall, accumulated account balances are relatively low, with only 11% of participants maxing out their HSA contributions. However, the survey shows 38% of participants recognize the need to contribute more, and therefore many say they plan to do so in the future. Even so, these consumers place larger emphasis in their savings, with 80% revealing they would save aggressively for health care costs. Sixty-eight percent have prepared a savings goal and 57% would likely allocate any unexpected extra funds towards health care savings.
More information on the study can be found here.