The combined assets of health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements grew by 43 percent in 2012, according to a new report.
The Employee Benefit Research Institute disclosed this finding in its January 2013 EBRI Issue Brief. The report details the assets, account balances and rollovers for HSAs and HRAs from 2006 to 2012.
The study pegs the combined assets of HSAs and HRAs at year-end 2012 at $17.8 billion, up from the $12.4 billion at the close of the 2011. The 2011 result represents a 69 percent increase over the 2011 combined assets of $7.3 billion.
The EBRI report adds that the combined number of HSA and HRA accounts totaled 11.6 million at year-end 1012, up 36 percent from 8.5 million accounts recorded in 2011. The increase also represents a 115 percent rise over the 5.4 million accounts on recorded at year-end 2010.
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In 2006, the start of the seven-year period tracked by the study, EBRI recorded 1.3 million accounts with $873.4 million in assets.
According to results from the 2012 Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey (CEHCS), sponsored by EBRI and Mathew Greenwald and Associates average account balances leveled off in 2008 and 2009, and fell slightly in 2010, but increased in 2011 and 2012. Specifically, average account balances rebounded to $1,470 (up 9 percent increase from 2010) and to $1,534 in 2012 (a 4 percent increase).
Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program and author of the report, noted a finding that healthy behavior by owners of these health accounts does not mean they have higher balances.