Americans Increasingly Embrace Self-Service

Consumer-directed, or health savings account (HSA)-style plans are becoming increasingly popular, a new survey finds. The study, conducted by Washington-based health insurance association America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), says the number of Americans covered under the high-deductible plans increased 31% since last year.

The census found since January of last year, approximately 1.9 million Americans opted for a HSA, bringing the total to some 8 million Americans. Interestingly, while "self-directed" plans are thought to appeal primarily to younger, technologically savvy participants, the study found that greatest percentage of enrollees were between the ages of 50 and 59.

As for geographic distribution, California (854,000), Florida (524,000), Illinois (497,000) and Texas (476,000) were the states with most members enrolled.

The study also found that 30% of those covered by a HSA plan were in the small-group market, 47% were in the large-group market, and the remaining 23% were in the individual market.

AHIP has conducted a periodic census of health insurers since HSAs were first authorized in January 2004.

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