NU Online News Service, Aug. 19, 2004, 3:29 p.m. EDT

UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., expects to be serving 150,000 members of health savings account-based health plans by January 2005.[@@]

The managed care company also is predicting that the bank it formed to serve HSA sponsors, Exante Bank, will be managing $90 million in HSA assets by January.

UnitedHealth now manages account-based health plans with about 1.3 million members. Most of the plan sponsors are using health reimbursement arrangements or flexible spending accounts, but many are interested in shifting to HSAs, according to UnitedHealth executives.

Exante HSA accounts will pay an annual interest rate of 4%, UnitedHealth says.