Boston - Fidelity Investments and WebMD Health Corp. are expanding their relationship to integrate WebMD's health care cost planning tools with the Fidelity HSASM, Fidelity's health savings account (HSA) product launched in December.

The integrated solution will be offered to Fidelity's largest defined contribution outsourcing clients, as more employers seek ways to help their workers become more educated, cost-conscious health care consumers.

The integrated HSA offering is the first employer solution to incorporate a health savings account with health care cost and retirement planning and management tools, according to Boston-based Fidelity.

As part of the expanded agreement, Fidelity and New York-based WebMD are jointly implementing a new tool that will allow employees to estimate their individual health care costs in retirement.

Available for the 2006 benefits enrollment season, the Fidelity HSA product will enable employers to provide their employees with a centralized portal for integrated health care and retirement planning that is accessible through a single sign-on. Here, employees can learn more about their individual health care needs, compare and contrast available health plans, calculate HSA contributions, assess overall retirement readiness, and begin saving for their future health care and retirement needs.

"Today's workers still don't fully understand the enormous impact future medical costs could have on their retirement savings," said Kevin McLaughlin, senior vice president, Fidelity Human Resources Services Company. "Recognizing this, employers are now looking to offer more integrated health care and retirement planning capabilities from a trusted provider to help increase their employees' retirement-readiness."

According to Fidelity's Spring 2006 Retirement Index, the typical American worker underestimated by 60% the $200,000 that an average couple retiring today will likely need to cover basic retiree medical expenses. These findings indicate that many Americans are still unaware of how much these costs could dilute their retirement savings. In fact, more than half of those who underestimated retiree medical costs admitted they had simply guessed, having little idea of how much they would actually need, notes Fidelity.

Recognizing that every worker's circumstances are different, WebMD's health decision support platform takes into consideration an individual's personal health status, regional health care costs data and local provider quality data to present a highly personalized view of healthcare options.

Source: Fidelity Investments

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