Consumers enrolled in health savings accounts span all income groups, ages and careers, a UnitedHealthcare report found. However, enrollment is highest among those earning less than $25,000, clocking in at 64%.


With 88% having a remaining balance, averaging $900, at the end of the year, HSAs are proving to be successful long-term savings tools.


UnitedHealthcare based its report on an analysis of 200,000 of its HSA accounts enrolled in 2006, the most recent year for which full year data was available.


Enrollment rates were also highest among small businesses of no more than 99 employees, with 74% participation. When employers helped fund the HSA account, 86% of the workers made contributions, compared with 27% that did when the employer did not make a contribution.


Many employees are preferring HSAs since they are free to use the money they save from lower premiums for their own use, including retirement.


“This latest research affirms our belief that health savings accounts have broad appeal for many healthcare consumers, regardless of income, age or employer environment,” said Meredith Baratz, vice president with UnitedHealthcare. “More employers are realizing the value of health savings accounts, as well, because HSAs enable businesses to help their employees play a more active role in their financial and physical well-being.”

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