Employers that offer optional health savings accounts or optional health reimbursement arrangements may avoid a total of about $500 in claims per member over 4 years.
Researchers at Aetna Inc., Hartford, have come up with that estimate in an analysis of 5 years of data from 130 employer health account programs with a total of about 205,000 participants.
The results include data for 170,000 HRA users and 35,000 HSA users.
All of the users studied were under age 65, and the demographics of the users were comparable to those of other Aetna preferred provider organization plan members, the researchers write.
In most cases, the savings figures represent amounts cut from anticipated spending increases, rather than decreases in spending relative to the employers’ initial health coverage costs.