Consumer Driven Market Report UPDATE eflexgroup Subscriptions>
Final Report Shows Strong HSA Growth
The final report on bank custodian growth in HSA assets shows higher than projected totals for both HSA accounts and deposits in January than the interim final data we reported just 10 days ago. The final report will be provided on request to participants on Monday, and all of the data from banks has now been reviewed and validated.
Nationwide 6.6 million HSA accounts were held by bank custodians in January 2011 across over 600 custodians, the report finds. The CDMR study tabulates the 25 largest known HSA custodians who report their actual results, representing hundreds of branches and outlets. These banks alone held 4.6 million HSA accounts (70%), while the smaller bank outlets held an estimated 2.0 million HSA accounts.
Nationwide there were $11.3 billion in HSA assets as of January for all U.S. banks, the report finds. The total of HSA assets in the study alone was $8.0 billion in the 25 reporting banks, an increase of 32.7% in one year. The average asset balance per account in reporting banks was $1,735 in January. Some 17 U.S. banks now hold over $100 million each in HSA assets, and four hold over one billion each.
Readers are free to quote the final data above as needed. The summary results are provided to national researchers for comparison with employer surveys and health insurance plans (EBRI and AHIP).
HRA/HSA Funds Should Be Counted As Incurred Claims
HSA Council Cites MLR Bias In Interim Reg
The Interim Final HHS regulation that kicked in under PPACA for medical loss ratios ignores congressional intent and needs to be modified before a Final reg is published, says the HSA Council of the American Bankers Insurance Association in a January 31 comment.
“We believe that the interim final MLR regulations that went into effect January 1, 2011 do not address our concern that their application will negatively affect the availability and affordability of plans with lower actuarial value. Section 2718 of the PPACA provides the Secretary with the authority necessary to exercise discretion when crafting MLR standards for HSA-qualifying plans. In fact, because of the peculiar needs of small plans, that section directs the Secretary to avoid onesize-fits all rules and make exceptions.
“In our opinion, the directive included in Section 2718 has been ignored… Failing an exemption for HSA-qualified plans or a change in the formula for adjusting an incurred MLR for credibility and cost-sharing factors, the only appropriate alternative would be to include employer allocations for health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and both employer and employee health savings account (HSA) contributions as “incurred claims” upon deposit. In addition, employees should be allowed the option to have any rebates automatically deposited in their HSA accounts.”
Read the letter: http://xintrak.com/MLR_Comments_13111_FINAL.pdf