HSA Usage Continues Growth

HSAs with investments had higher account balances than those that do not offer investments.

Data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s (EBRI)’s health savings account (HSA) database shows nearly 30% of employers offered an HSA-eligible health plan in 2015.

The third annual update of the EBRI HSA database shows that at year-end 2015 (the latest data available), the average HSA balance was $1,844, up from $1,332 at the beginning of the year. Average account balances increased with the age of the owner of the account. Account balances averaged $759 for owners younger than age 25 and $3,623 for owners ages 65 and older.

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More than four in five HSAs (85%) have been opened since the beginning of 2011.

Investing HSA Assets 

About 3% of HSAs had invested assets (beyond cash). Thirty-six percent of HSAs with investments ended 2015 with a balance of $10,000 or more, whereas only 4% of HSAs without investments had such a balance.

Among HSAs with investments, accounts opened in 2015 ended the year with an average balance of $4,907 whereas those opened in 2005 had an average balance of $27,903 at the end of 2015.

Contributions and Distributions 

On average, individuals who made contributions in 2015 contributed $1,864 to their account. HSAs receiving employer contributions in 2015 received $948, on average.

Four-fifths of HSAs with a 2015 contribution also had a distribution during 2015. Of the HSAs with distributions, the average amount distributed was $1,748.

Distributions increased as HSA owners’ ages increased. For example, 2015 distributions averaged $634 for HSA owners younger than age 25; $2,319 for owners ages 55 to 64; and $2,365 for owners ages 65 and older.

The full report, “Health Savings Account Balances, Contributions, Distributions, and Other Vital Statistics, 2015: Estimates from the EBRI HSA Database,” is published in the November 29 EBRI Issue Brief, online at www.ebri.org.