America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) recently released the results of a census indicating that 4.5 million Americans are now covered by High Deductible Health Insurance Plans (HDHP’s) that include Health Saving Accounts (HSA’s). This represents an annual growth rate of 43% over the previous year.
HDHP’s typically offer lower premiums than those of traditional health insurance plans. They also often come with the added benefit of an HSA account. The HSA account allows members to make tax-deferred deposits up to preset limits. These deposits become tax-free as long as they are used to pay for eligible medical expenses.
Perhaps the most compelling finding from the census was that approximately 25% of all new HSA plan enrollees were previously uninsured. This provides strong evidence that consumer-directed health plans, and the lower premiums that typically accompany them, may indeed be helping to reduce the large number of uninsured Americans.