Individual health savings account-compatible insurance plans are less likely than big HSA plans to pay for the full cost of preventive care, but those that do, pay for richer benefits.

Researchers at America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington, have reported those finding in a summary of results from a survey that looked at “first-dollar” coverage for preventive care at high-deductible, HSA-compatible health insurance plans covering about 1.7 million U.S. residents.

Only about 59% of the individual HSA plans offer first-dollar coverage for preventive care, compared with 99% of the large group and jumbo group HSA plans, the AHIP researchers report.

But the researchers found that almost all of the individual HSA plans that do offer first-dollar preventive care benefits provide first-dollar coverage for all eight of the preventive benefits studied, including infant and child well care, immunizations, mammograms, Pap smears, physicals, the prostate-specific antigen test, colonoscopies and smoking cessation programs.

All large group and jumbo group HSA plans provide first-dollar coverage for infant and child well care, immunizations, mammograms, Pap smears and physicals.

About 88% of the large group HSA plans and 92% of the jumbo group HSA plans provide first-dollar coverage for prostate-specific antigen tests, and only 75% of the large group plans and 81% provide complete coverage for colonoscopies.

First-dollar coverage for smoking cessation is particularly unpopular at the larger HSA plans.

About 96% of the individual HSA plans with first-dollar preventive care benefits offer complete coverage for smoking cessation programs, but only 26% of the large group plans and 35% of the jumbo group plans provide first-dollar coverage, AHIP researchers report.