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Milliman: Health Account Effects Vary

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Some efforts to make workers better health care shoppers work better than others at controlling health coverage costs, according to Milliman Inc.

Milliman, Seattle, worked with the National Business Group on Health, Washington, to analyze the effects of programs that incorporate health savings accounts or health reimbursement arranges at 6 member employers with a total of 225,000 health plan members and 30,000 members enrolled in health account plans.

Actual health account plan penetration at the employers ranged from 4.4% to 76%, and the risk-adjusted savings ranged from none to about 12%, according to Milliman and the NBGH.

Total savings tend to be great, because the early adopters are often younger, healthier employees, researchers note.