NU Online News Service, Jan. 29, 2004, 11:59 a.m. EST – Many insurers are racing into the new health savings account market.[@@]

Eastbridge Consulting Group Inc., Avon, Conn., recently surveyed insurers in the employee benefits market and found that 42% either have an HSA product ready or are developing an HSA product.

Another 25% of the insurers are deciding whether to enter the HSA market.

The early adopters tend to be national companies that already sell group health coverage, Eastbridge says.

About half of the early adopters intend to sell HSA products to individuals as well as to groups, Eastbridge says.

President Bush brought HSAs to life late in 2003 when he signed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. A section near the end of MPDIMA lets employers, employees and individuals deduct contributions to HSAs when the HSAs are bought in conjunction with high-deductible health coverage.