MILWAUKEE--Fortis Health signed its first individual medical Health Savings Account (HSA) policy, believed to be the first HSA policy in the country. The policy, which was opened by an individual residing in Aurora, Ill., is the first of the estimated over 40 million HSA accounts that will be established in the next 10 years, according to congressional analysts. Beginning January 1, 2004, Fortis Health will offer comprehensive HSA products for individuals and small groups through Fortis Insurance Company and John Alden Life Insurance Company.

HSAs, the newest concept in the health insurance market, will make health insurance more affordable by allowing consumers to save money in a tax-free account to pay for health care costs. Individuals with self-only policies can make a pre-tax annual contribution of $2,600 and families can make an annual contribution of up to $5,150 into a HSA account. HSAs were approved by Congress as part of the Medicare Prescription & Modernization Act on December 8 and will not only increase health insurance options, but also help consumers control their own health care costs.

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