Huge Opportunities For HSAs In Coming Era Of Private Exchanges

Driven by the emerging private health exchange sector, health savings accounts (HSAs) may be poised to quadruple their growth over the next six years, according to a new report published by Consumerdriven, LLC and HSA Consulting Services, LLC. The study, The Power of Choice: The Game-Changing Combination of Private Exchanges and Health Savings Accounts, contains responses from 33 private exchange vendors to determine if there was a relationship between the method of benefit distribution, the financial incentives used (i.e. defined contribution vs. subsidized premium) and health savings account (HSA) adoption. The study reveals important data on the increasing role of health care consumerism strategies in the future of the U.S. health care system.

While HSAs have experienced a steady growth rate over the past decade, health exchanges, especially private exchanges, have already demonstrated a tendency to accelerate the rate of HSA adoption among health consumers—both within the employer-sponsored and individual health care markets.

The study examined the choices that consumers were making in these health care marketplaces and found a six- to eight-fold increase in HSA adoption in private exchanges compared to the traditional approaches used today in the commercial marketplace. In exchanges utilizing a defined contribution funding strategy, the potential for HSA adoption is even higher.

“Our findings have caused us to reassess the potential market growth in the HSA market,” said John Young, CEO at Consumerdriven, LLC. “We predict that 50 million Americans will be covered by HSA-qualified health plans by Jan. 1, 2019 and that HSA account adoption will grow to 37 million in that time period—up from 11 million today. We also predict that exchanges will drive more than half of that growth.”

However, the report found that many private exchange vendors were caught off-guard by the research request, and in fact, found many were unaware of the HSA adoption they were creating.

“Exchanges provide the best opportunity for HSA adoption—but not all exchanges are focused on providing the best HSA customer experience,” said Todd Berkley, president of HSA Consulting Services, LLC. “In fact, many exchanges are not aware of HSA revolution happening inside their offering. There is room for improvement here.”

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