The Business Journal of Minneapolis reports, “Health savings accounts could be the next big business opportunity for banks in 2005.” The article says, “Banks have been slower [than insurers] to offer the products, but are quickly catching on to their potential.”
The article goes on to cite financial institutions that began offering HSAs within the past year, including US Bank, Wells Fargo, and Associated Bank, whose senior vice president, Mickey Webb, says, “We are enormously happy with how [HSAs] have been selling. We’ve opened thousands of accounts since July 1. … We didn’t anticipate such a strong start.”
The piece goes on to discuss different marketing strategies employed by the various banks and concludes the HSA business could rival that of IRAs.
“Americans Are Gobbling Up HSAs”
An article by Joel Finkelstein in American Medical News reports, “Americans are gobbling up health savings accounts, according to a preliminary industry survey, which suggests that the products could quickly have a significant impact on the health care market.”
The article cites the recent survey conducted by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), which pegged HSA enrollment at 440,000 as of September 2004, and quotes AHIP President Karen Ignani as saying, “This is an emerging market, and it is off to a fast start.”
Finkelstein’s article says the survey found only 13,000 accounts at large companies, which Ignani said were slow to implement the plans because “few large firms had open enrollment periods between the time HSA products became available and the time the survey was conducted.”
Greg Scandlen ([email protected]) is director of the Galen Institute’s Center for Consumer Driven Health Care and assistant editor of Health Care News.