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Life Health > Health Insurance

Wells Fargo HSAs grow to record high

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Wells Fargo’s HSA program assets grew by 31 percent, reaching more than $809 million by the end of 2012, while accounts grew to a record 365,000 at 2012 year-end, the banking giant said Thursday.

The firm also said American workers saved more than $100 million in taxes in 2012 through their Wells Fargo & Company HSA.

See also: 7 health tax tips

“Wells Fargo helps business clients meet their objectives by maximizing enrollment in HSA-compatible health plans, which enable them to reduce overall health care expenses,” Elizabeth Ryan, head of Wells Fargo’s Health Benefit Services, said in a statement.

“Our business clients appreciate the active role we take in educating their employees,” she said. “We’re empowering their employees through two key benefits — tax savings up to $25 or more on each $100 in HSA contributions, and the ability to build a safety net for potential retirement medical expenses.”

Wells Fargo HSA accounts carry an average balance of $2,730 — 20 percent more than the industry average of $2,283, Ryan noted.

Nationwide, more people than ever are utilizing health savings accounts. The number of people with an HSA rose to more than 13.5 million in 2012, up from 11.4 million the previous year, according to data from America’s Health Insurance Plans.

An HSA is an individually owned savings and investment account coupled with an HSA-powered health plan. Unlike flexible spending accounts, there is no ‘use-it or lose-it’ rule and qualified medical expenses can be withdrawn tax-free year after year.

The accounts are a central element in consumer-driven health care and are designed to give individuals more control over funds allocated for health care services, thereby causing health plan participants to spend the money more responsibly.

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