Employer Contributions to Health Accounts Fall, Individual Contributions Rise
Feb. 17, 2012 — Enrollment in health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) continues growing, but contribution patterns to these account-based health plans are changing, according to a report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).
There was $12.4 billion in HSAs and HRAs spread across 8.4 million accounts in 2011, according to the latest EBRI/MGA "Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey." This is up from 2006, when there were 1.3 million accounts with $873.4 million in assets, and 2010, when 5.4 million accounts held $7.3 billion in assets. This growth reflects the increasing number of employers that offer these account-based health plans.
The survey found that about two-thirds of workers with an HRA or HSA reported that their employer contributed to their account in 2011, a level that has remained steady since 2006. However, employer contribution levels have declined for some enrollees.
Specifically, for those with employee-only coverage in these plans, annual contributions from their employer have fallen since 2008: The percentage reporting that their employer contributed $1,000 or more to the account dropped from 37% in 2008 to 24% in 2011. Employer contributions of $1,000 or more to those with family coverage remained steady at 64%. In contrast, individuals' contributions to HSA plans have increased: The percentage contributing $1,500 or more increased from 21% in 2006 to 44% in 2011.