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Study: HSA Customer Mix Shifts

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High-deductible, health savings account-compatible health insurance policies are growing in popularity with young consumers and middle-income consumers.

Researchers at eHealth Inc., Mountain View, Calif., the company that runs the Web site at Document Link, have based those conclusions on data from consumers who bought HSA-eligible coverage through the site.

The percentage of HSA-compatible plan purchasers who are ages 20 to 29 increased to 28% in 2005, from 20%, while the percentage in the 30-39 and 40-49 age categories fell.

Researchers found that previously uninsured consumers who bought health coverage in 2005 were much more likely than in 2004 to be over age 60 and to have annual incomes in the $50,001 to $75,000 category.

About 29% of 2005 HSA-compatible insurance purchasers over age 65 were previously uninsured, up from 15% in 2004.

About 33% of the 2005 high-deductible plan purchasers in the $50,001-$75,000 income category were uninsured, up from 27% in 2004.

The eHealth researchers found that younger high-deductible plan buyers were still more likely to lack prior coverage.

“Overall, 41% of 2005 HSA-eligible plan purchasers did not have prior health insurance,” eHealth researchers write in an analysis of their data.