Employers Push Health Care Acounts
By Claudia Buck
As millions of working Americans open their employer's health care packets this month, many will be encountering a new option: high-deductible plans linked to health savings accounts that come loaded with tax benefits.
They're attracting workers who want lower premiums and a tax-free way to save for retirement. But they're not for everyone, which is why some consumer groups are alarmed by their growing presence in the health care market.
In the last six years, the number of workers covered by these health savings account plans has quadrupled, from 5 percent in 2007 to 20 percent this year, according to a 2013 Kaiser Family Foundation survey.
"More companies are offering them as a choice, and in some cases, they're the only choice," said Paul Fronstin, director of health research and education for the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington, D.C.