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Average HSA balances show minimal growth

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 21, 2010

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More money than ever is being kept in some form of health savings or reimbursement program, but the growth in the balance per account has flattened, according to an issue brief released June 1 by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Researchers surveyed 2,007 adults covered by a high-deductible health insurance combined with a health savings or reimbursement account. Results were then extrapolated to the general population.

A total of $7.1 billion was held in these accounts in 2009, an increase from $835.4 million in 2006. The number of accounts also grew from 1.2 million in 2006 to 5 million in 2009.

The average amount of money in each account, however, has leveled off. Approximately $696 was in each account in 2006.This jumped to $1,320 in 2007 but only went up to $1,356 in 2008 and $1,419 in 2009.

Those participating in these kind of programs were more likely than those with traditional health insurance to be young, unmarried, educated and high-income earners, and to have healthy habits.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/06/21/bibf0621.htm.

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