By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
According to recent research from Alegeus, health savings account (HSA) participants are more fluent in health and financial concepts, more focused on cost and value, savvier spenders, and more disciplined about saving than participants in more traditional health care plans. The 2018 Alegeus HSA Participant Profile noted that the premise of health care consumerism is that, if given more financial responsibility for health care and empowered to make more informed decisions, consumers will make better choices that lead to improved health outcomes and decreased overall health care costs.
The survey found the following:
- HSA participants are 38 percent more confident they understand their health insurance coverage and 54 percent more confident in forecasting out-of-pocket health care costs than participants in other health care plans.
- HSA participants are 23 percent more likely to make cost/value-based decisions than the general population.
- HSA participants do more pre-purchase diligence; they are 46 percent more likely to research and compare costs and 37 percent more likely to seek out alternatives.
- HSA participants are 68 percent more likely to have a savings goal and 80 percent more likely to be saving aggressively for future health care savings.
Despite these positive characteristics, Alegeus found that most HSA participants still do not get the full value from their accounts. Only 11 percent capitalize on the full tax benefit by contributing up to the maximum amount allowed by the IRS, and only 13 percent have invested their HSA savings for growth. Given the magnitude of health care costs consumers will face this year and into retirement, most HSA participants still underfund their accounts.
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