NU Online News Service, Dec. 9, 2004, 2:59 p.m. EST

A Pennsylvania bank continues to expand its health savings account business.[@@]

Mellon Financial Corp., Pittsburgh, has won a contract to manage HSAs for consumers who buy HSA-compatible health coverage from WellChoice Inc., New York.

WellChoice is the parent of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, a company that provides or administers health coverage for about 5 million people, or 21% of the residents of the New York City area.

In January 2005, Empire will be introducing a family of HSA-compatible health insurance plans for employers with 51 or more employees.

Mellon’s Ridgefield Park, N.J.-based Human Resources & Investor Solutions unit will set up the HSAs, provide recordkeeping and handle HSA customer service through the Web and through call centers.

Mellon also will provide HSA checkbooks, HSA debit cards and access to mutual funds.

Mellon recently announced similar agreements to manage HSAs for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C., and Great-West Healthcare, Greenwood Village, Colo., a unit of Power Corporation of America, Montreal.