HSA Balances And Distributions Increase With Age: EBRI

Despite the fact that older individuals use more health care services and take more distributions from their health savings accounts (HSAs), HSA account balances increased with age, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The study, HSA Balances, Contributions, Distributions, and Other Vital Statistics—A First Look at Data from the EBRI HSA Database on the 10th Anniversary of the HSA, found that individuals under age 25 had an average of $697 in their HSA at the end of 2013, compared with $3,780 among individuals ages 55 to 64. Individuals ages 65 and older had an average HSA balance of $4,460 at the end of 2013.

However, the study found that the average annual amount distributed for health care claims also increased with age, as did the likelihood that a distribution was made for a health care claim, at least until older ages. Individuals under age 25 had an average annual distribution of $667 from their HSA in 2013, compared with $2,335 among individuals ages 55 to 64, and $2,017 among individuals ages 65 and older. And, the likelihood of taking a distribution increased from 44 percent among individuals under age 25 to 66 percent among those ages 35 to 44 and 45 to 54. The likelihood dropped slightly (to 64 percent) among those ages 55 to 64 and still further (to 49 percent) among those ages 65 and older.

The study also found the following:

• The average HSA balance at the end of 2013 was $1,766, up from $1,280 at the beginning of the year.
• On average, individuals who made contributions deposited $2,032 to their account. HSAs receiving employer contributions received $1,184, on average.
• Men had more money in their HSA than women. At the end of 2013, men had an average of $2,326 in their account, while women had $1,526.
• Among HSAs with claims, the average amount distributed for health care claims in 2013 was $1,953.

The 2013 EBRI HSA database contains data collected from various HSA providers on 1.5 million accounts with total assets of $2.7 billion as of Dec. 31, 2013, and covers 14 percent of the universe of HSAs and 14 percent of HSA assets. For more information, visit http://www.ebri.org.

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