People with health problems may be having better luck at keeping their health account assets.

Researchers at the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington, have published statistics hinting at that conclusion in a summary of results from a recent Web-based survey of 4,532 privately insured U.S. residents ages 21 to 64.

The researchers compared the results with results from similar surveys conducted in 2006 and 2007.

The researchers found that 9.8 million U.S. adults either have a health account plan or are eligible to open a health savings account.

The percentage of health account holders who have had health accounts for more than 1 year has increased to 64% this year, from 60% in 2007, and from 42% in 2006.

The percentage of healthy health account plan members who were able to roll over at least $500 in account assets from the past year increased to 52% in 2008, from 39% in 2006.

For health account plan members with health problems, the percentage able to roll over $500 or more in assets increased to 40%, from 24%, the EBRI researchers report.