NU Online News Service, May 17, 2004, 5:44 p.m. EDT – Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, is working with another company to offer health savings accounts to employers in Illinois, Virginia and Washington D.C.[@@]

Guardian is teaming with Destiny Health, Oak Ridge, Ill., which helped create the U.S. defined contribution health plan market by introducing an account-based product 3 years ago.

Guardian and Destiny began working together in 2003 to sell health plans based on health reimbursement arrangements in Illinois.

President Bush brought HSAs to life Dec. 8, 2003, when he signed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. One MPDIMA section lets eligible taxpayers who buy high-deductible health insurance policies exclude HSA contributions from taxable income and spend HSA cash on qualified expenses without paying income taxes on the distributions.

The HSA program lets employers and employees contribute up to $2,600 in pre-tax dollars to accounts for individuals and up to $5,150 in pre-tax dollars for families.

Destiny Health is a unit of Discovery Health Pty Ltd., Sandton, South Africa.