NU Online News Service, July 15, 2004, 5:01 p.m. EDT

Banks today announced 2 major health saving account alliances.[@@]

J.P. Morgan Chase & Company Inc., New York, a big money-center bank, has agreed to work with the managed care unit at CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, to sell a program that combines high-deductible HSA health coverage with HSA account management services.

A smaller bank, Synovus Inc., Columbus, Ga., is teaming up with Fringe Benefits Management Company, Tallahassee Fla., to offer an HSA program management service.

The J.P. Morgan deal involves CIGNA’s new Choice Fund Health Savings Account program. When the program takes effect in 2005, features will include access to J.P. Morgan investment accounts and use of debit cards and checkbooks for drawing on account assets.

Synovus and Fringe Benefits Management will be starting EZ Reimburse HSA, a program that will combine financial services from Synovus with employee education, enrollment and deduction management services from Fringe Benefits Management.