Study Finds Most Americans Don't Invest in Health Care Plans

June 2, 2006 ( - A recent survey that measured the usage of Health Savings Accounts (HSA), and similar health care plans showed that only one in five people currently use such a program.

Though only 20% of the people polled said they used health care plans such as Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts, which allow participants to save as much as 40% on medical costs, the survey sponsored by WageWorks reported that 57% of Americans save money for health care expenses that they pay out of pocket, according to a news release.

The national survey of adult Americans found that a majority (61%) have more difficulty budgeting and planning for health care expenses than for other types of expenses, such as retirement. By the same percentage, survey participants indicated the need for better, clearer information specific to their situation. Another 27% of respondents wanted hands-on-help from experts or tools for ongoing management of healthcare expenses.

“For retirement planning, consumers have access to clear, relevant, independent information. That hasn’t happened yet in health care,” said Jon Kessler, Chairman of WageWorks, in the news release. “Despite the many tools and initiatives rolled out by health plans, most Americans still feel unprepared to manage their own health care costs and don’t necessarily trust health insurance companies to guide them.”

StrategyOne conducted the nationwide telephone study of 1,044 Americans 18 years of age and older regarding their perceptions and experiences with health care expenses. The interviews were conducted from April 13-18, 2006 , according to the news release.