Large employers are much more likely to offer health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements than employees are to sign up for the accounts.

Researchers at Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Washington, and the National Business Group on Health, Washington, have reported that finding in a summary of results from a survey of 573 large employers.

The percentage of participating employers offering health account plans has increased to 38% this year, from 33% in 2006, but the percentage of employees participating in the plans has increased only to 8%, from 7%, researchers say.

But health care cost increases seem to be lower at the companies with at least 10% of employees enrolled in health account plans, and 5% of employers now offer health account plans as their only plans, researchers say.