Skip to main content

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Current Filters

Filter your query

Publication Types



Newsletter Article


Insurance Group Says HSA Enrollment Hits 3 Million

JANUARY 26, 2006 -- At least 3 million Americans have enrolled in high-deductible plans sold in connection with health savings accounts, America's Health Insurance Plans said Thursday.

"Everyone is very surprised at the robustness of this number," AHIP President and Chief Executive Officer Karen Ignagni told reporters, adding that enrollment in HSAs tripled over the past 10 months.

HSAs, which were created by the 2003 Medicare law (PL 108-173), allow employers and employees to contribute pretax dollars to the accounts, which grow tax free and are used to pay health expenses not covered by the high-deductible health plans.

The study is based on aggregate responses from the group's member companies, which include nearly all the ones offering HSA-eligible plans. The preliminary findings also show that the market for HSAs is becoming broader, Ignagni said, with companies offering them in more markets and to a wider array of large groups, small groups, and individual customers.

A specific breakdown of numbers of AHIP data would be available at a later date, Ignagni said.

President Bush and GOP conservatives have advocated HSAs as a way to make individuals more responsible for their own health and health care expenses. Critics say the accounts benefit primarily healthy and wealthy Americans.

Bush is expected to discuss possible expansions of the HSA program in his Jan. 31 State of the Union address.

Despite the phenomenal growth, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said Thursday that expanding HSAs would be a mistake.

"With 2,000 more Americans becoming uninsured every day, the Medicare drug plan failing, and health costs sky rocketing, it's absurd for the Bush administration to make a bad situation even worse," Kennedy said. "Its health proposals will fatten the bank accounts of HMOs and the drug industry and lavish more tax giveaways on the wealthy, but will do nothing to make health care more available and affordable for millions of average families."

Publication Details