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Popularity of HSAs expected to grow, survey says

A new survey of top health savings account (HSA) providers suggests that the popularity of these accounts will continue to grow as more people open accounts and those who have them increase their investment.

As of June 30, there were 18.2 million HSAs, up 25 percent from one year earlier, and on trend with the approximately 20-percent year-over-year increase seen in previous years. In addition, total assets hit $34.7 billion for the period, representing a 22-percent rise from the previous years’ levels. By the end of 2018, the HSA market is projected to exceed $50 billion in assets, spread over more than 27 million accounts.

“As health coverage continues to become more consumer-oriented, individuals are becoming more engaged and invested in managing their health and health care dollars,” said Eric Remjeske, president and cofounder of Devenir Group, which provides investment solutions for HSAs and conducted the survey.

But are people using these accounts? According to the survey, the answer is a resounding yes, with the amount of contributions and withdrawals increasing year after year. In 2013, industry contributions were $16.4 billion, which rose to $19.4 billion in 2014 and $22.8 billion in 2015. Withdrawals have been increasing at a greater rate: $12.4 billion in 2013, $13.4 billion in 2014 but then $16.9 billion in 2015.

The survey notes that debit cards have remained the most popular method for HSA withdrawals so far in 2016, with 85 percent of withdrawals per account made via debit card, compared to 7 percent made by online bill payment and 5 percent made by check. However, the survey notes that checks and online payments are still preferred for larger purchases, with the average transaction amount for debit cards measuring $120.85, versus $291.71 for check and $326.14 for online payments.

Do you offer an HSA as part of your health insurance offerings? Let us know in the comments.

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