HSA assets grew more than 62% last year, Celent study shows

Anemic economy makes health savings accounts attractive to employers, employees

Jun 29, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

By Lisa Shidler

Despite the downturn in the economy, the number of health savings accounts and assets held in the plans continue to grow, a new study released today showed.

From January 2008 to January 2009, there was an increase of 46.1% in the number of HSAs. During that same period, HSA custodians and administrators reported that assets grew by 62.6%, according to “HSA Benchmarking Analysis: Market Trends and Economics 2009,” a report from Celent, a Boston-based financial research and consulting firm.

The report showed that during that time not a single custodian or administrator experienced a decrease in balances.

That phenomenon reflected a shift in the health care marketplace. As the economy deteriorated and employers looked to cut costs, these high-deductible health plans became more attractive to employers and employees. These health plans are cheaper for employers to offer and less costly for employees to purchase.

The study is based on data released to Celent by 14 HSA custodians and administrators. The report referred to HSAs as the “darling of retail banking” because of their growth rates, which are unmatched by any other retail banking product.

Celent expects HSA growth to continue in 2010, and that competition will likely increase costs and decrease revenues.

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