Members of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health savings account programs seem to like the programs.
Executives from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Chicago, gave that assessment today at a consumer-driven health care conference in Washington.
The executives presented results from a survey of 3,000 Blues plan members in HSA programs, other types of account-based health plans, and traditional health plans.
The Blues now serve 1.2 million HSA holders, up from 620,000 in 2005, and about 57% of the enrollees who are eligible to open HSAs have done so, the executives report.
About 85% of enrollees who have HSAs and 85% of traditional plan enrollees say their plans have met their expectations in the area of control of health care expenditures, the Blues report.
HSA programs say they try to equip consumers with information that can help them become better health care shoppers.
About 54% of the HSA holders surveyed said they have been highly satisfied with the cost and quality information they are getting, compared with just 40% of the traditional plan members surveyed, the Blues report.
In the past, critics asked whether HSA programs would provide adequate access to preventive care, but the Blues survey figures suggest the Blues HSA programs might be performing better than traditional plans at providing access to preventive care: 59% of the HSA holders surveyed said they have been satisfied with their level of access to preventive care, compared with just 52% of the traditional plan enrollees.
Researchers also found that HSA holders show far more interest than members of traditional plans in wellness programs and consumer support tools.
Only 8% of the traditional plan enrollees said they were very interested in wellness programs, 9% in provider information tools and 19% in prescription tools.
Meanwhile, 20% of the HSAs were highly interested in wellness programs, 38% in provider information tools and 42% in prescription information tools.