Report: Most HSA Buyers were Men in 2004

February 16, 2005 ( - By a large majority, men were much more likely to opt for a Health Savings Account (HSA) eligible health plan during 2004, according to a new study.

eHealthInsurance, a health insurance Web site featuring products from 140 providers across the country, found in its study of HSA-eligible plans it sold to individuals and families last year that 62% of buyers were male and 38% female. That was slightly closer than the 65%-35% gap seen in a similar study of HSA buying patterns during the first six months of 2004.

Also, most people who bought an HSA plan were in the 30 to 39 year old age range, according to the Sunnyvale, California company. Some 31.6% of buyers in 2004 were in that age group with those in the 40 to 49-year-old category slightly behind at 30%. Those 21 to 29 years old made up 18.3% of buyers while 50 to 59-year-olds were 16.1%.

In its report, the company said 40-somethings appeared to be the biggest HSA consumers. “These consumers may be pre-disposed to understanding the benefits of the premium savings and tax advantages of HSA programs,” eHealthInsurance wrote. “This group may also be more likely to receive guidance from an accountant or financial planner who may be informing them of the availability of HSAs.”

Pointing out that nearly 66% of non-HSA plan buyers were under 40, the company said younger consumers may just need more information about why the plans could be prudent investments. “This may call for more education to younger Americans on both the short-term savings and the long-term benefits of HSAs,” the company wrote “This will increase their understanding of the opportunity to reap the most positive effects of HSAs and build their health savings for the future.”

Finally, the company reported that 51% of HSA purchasers were individuals while 49% were families. Of the family buyers, 37% had children and 12% were couples without children.”

The report is available here .