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UBA Finds Rising Health Account Enrollment

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Preferred provider organization plans continue to dominate the U.S. group health market, but health account plans may be gaining.

When United Benefit Advisors L.L.C., Indianapolis, a coalition of benefits advisory firms, conducted a survey of member firms’ client employers, it found that 54% of employer-sponsored group health plans are PPO plans, and that those plans cover 63% of the employees enrolled in employer-sponsored plans.

Health maintenance organization plans continue to account for 21% of the participating employers’ plans, but they enroll only 13% of the employees in the employers’ plans, UBA says.

The percentage of participating employers that offer plans incorporating health savings accounts or health reimbursement arrangements has increased to 13%, and the percentage of group health plan members enrolled in the health account plans has increased to 11%, from 6%, since 2007, UBA says.

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The average premium for all of the participants’ health plans has increased 7.4%, while the average first-year premium for the health account plans fell by 7.9%, UBA says.

The average employer HRA contribution was $1,209 for a single employee and $2,274 for a family.

The average employer HSA contribution was $642 for a single employee and $1,053 for a family.

The average annual medical plan cost is $7,327 per employee, with employers paying $4,117 of the total and employees paying $3,210.