A Principal news release said the offering was also available for self-funded employer groups. Health savings accounts are tax advantaged trust or custodial accounts created for the benefit of an individual covered under a qualified high-deductible health plan.
Principal said the HSA is controlled by the employee and is intended to provide for “lifetime medical savings,” enabling the worker to contribute and accumulate funds tax free to provide for future qualified medical expenses. In addition, it can be used for unexpected medical expenses.
Benefits of The Principal consumer-driven health care product include:
- a variety of investment options for the HSA. On September 1, a Health Savings Account with debit card and check access will be available from Principal Bank while in early 2005, Principal Investors funds will be available as funding options.
- single-source administration for employers.
The program includes hospital quality and cost information, health assessment tools, prescription drug information, disease management resources and Principal Health News – an interactive online health research library.
Further, The Principal offers member care advocacy programs to assist customers who are experiencing a health issue or emergency that requires extra care. This includes:
- a toll-free number that connects members to professionals who can answer questions about benefits, coverages and claims, locate a network provider and more.
- nurses who assist members in managing hospital stays by answering questions, following inpatient care to help them receive appropriate, timely and quality services, and helping coordinate any care after release.
- nurses who help members understand and better use the health care system and their benefits when faced with a serious illness.