Triply tax-favored health savings accounts enjoyed strong growth in 2012, including exceptional growth in investment accounts. Devenir Group, a Minneapolis-based investment firm, reported that total HSA accounts rose by 22% last year, to more than 8.2 million, while assets picked up by 27%, to $15.5 billion. Among HSA assets, those classified as investments grew by 55% in 2012, reaching an estimated $1.7 billion.

Consumers with certain types of high-deductible health insurance are eligible to open HSAs. For those with HSAs, contributions provide an upfront tax deduction. Any investment buildup inside an HSA avoids income tax while withdrawals can be tax-free if used for qualified health care expenses. While most HSA assets are in bank accounts, the money also can be invested in stocks, bonds, funds, and other types of investments.

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