The number of Americans covered by high-deductible health plans that are offered in conjunction with health savings accounts (HSAs) rose 43 percent from 2006 to 2007, according to a report by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), an industry group.
HSAs are tax-exempt trusts or custodial accounts established exclusively to pay qualified medical expenses. To be eligible for HSAs, individuals must be covered by a high deductible health plan.
The study found that 4.5 million Americans are enrolled in an HSA-eligible high deductible health plan in 2007, up from 3.2 million in 2006.
Eighty-eight percent of HSAs in place in 2006 had average annual balances of $2,500 or less, while 4 percent had average annual balances over $5,000. As of January 2007, 65 percent of accounts had been in place for less than one year.