Health savings balances growing

A new report from a banking technology vendor has concluded that Health Savings Account balances are expanding at a brisk clip. According to Canopy Financial's Health Savings Account Market Report for the second quarter of 2008, individual and family HSA balances both grew by nearly 20 percent over the last three months.

According to Canopy, as of the end of Q2 '08, the average individual HSA balance was $969 and the average family HSA balance was $1,663. As intended by designers of the HSA concept, both younger and older consumers seem to be using their HSAs as long-term investments: individual accounts saw triple as much inflow as outflow, and family accounts showed double the inflow for the outflow.

In related news, a new Blue Cross Blue Shield Association study found that people enrolled in consumer-directed health plans were more likely to participate in health and wellness programs, and to budget for health costs.  (The latter seems like a good thing since they are going to responsible for a lot more of their health costs.) The study also found that they were 30 percent more likely to track their health expenses and 27 percent more likely to ask their doctors about the expense of recommended treatments.

To learn more about this research:
- read the Canopy report
- read this BCBSA press release

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