More large and midsize employers appear to be using health savings account and health reimbursement arrangements programs.

Researchers at the consulting arm of Aon Corp., Chicago, and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, Brookfield, Wis., say about 45% of the 336 employers they polled now offer HSA or HRA programs, up from 37% a year ago.

Only 16% of the participating employers said they offer an account-based health plan as the only health plan option. That percentage is about the same as it was a year ago.

About 49% of the employers with health account programs offer HSAs; 38%, HRAs; and 12%, both.

A year ago, 48% offered HSAs; 42%, HRAs; and 10%, both.

When the researchers polled the employers without health account programs, they found that 11% expect to offer a health account program this year or next year, and 73% expect to offer a health account program within the next 5 years.