March 13, 2007

AAPPO Survey Finds 95 Percent of Health Savings Account (HSA) Enrollees Receive Health Care Through Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)

WASHINGTON, March 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 95 percent of health savings account (HSA) enrollees receive health care through preferred provider organizations (PPOs) according to the results of a survey released today by the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations (AAPPO).

(Logo: Newscom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060126/CLTH062LOGO )

AAPPO conducted the study of 100 health plans in late February and supplemented its findings with data from Inside Consumer-Directed Care to conclude that at least 10 million Americans are currently enrolled in consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs): 4.5 million in HSA-based plans and 5.5 million in HRA (health reimbursement account)-based plans.

"PPOs are today's most popular healthcare choice for more than 158 million Americans," said Karen Greenrose, president of AAPPO. "Today's survey results show a significant upward trend of both large and small employers that are adopting, or have adopted, HSA or HRA style plans."

HSAs have become more popular and accessible in recent years as more Americans seek to take a more active role in their health care. Participants enroll in a medical health insurance plan and deposit money into a flexible spending account. They can then spend the funds tax-free for various medical expenses, including medical insurance deductibles. PPOs complement this program by providing members access to an interconnected network of providers and services at an affordable cost. Today, for the 4.5 million individuals enrolled in HSAs, 95 percent are in PPOs, the primary delivery system for HSA products.

"The data released today by AAPPO shows that more Americans are taking advantage of products like HSAs that empower them to be more involved in their healthcare decisions," said Dave Camp (R-MI), ranking member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. "This is a great step forward for individuals, and a great step forward for our country's healthcare system."

   Other notable findings from the survey include:    -- The adoption of HSAs and HRAs by small employers drove CDHP enrollment      to triple in 2006, from 2 percent to 6 percent.    -- HSA-based plans, which were introduced at the end of 2003 as part of      the Medicare Modernization Act, grew at a faster rate in 2006 than      HRA-based plans.    -- Four percent of all employers offered an HSA-based plan in 2006, while      just two percent offered an HRA-based plan.    -- Both small and large employers agreed that "lowering health benefit      cost over time" and "promoting health care consumerism" were very      important reasons for offering HSAs and HRAs.   

The survey also found that HSAs were more likely offered as a savings vehicle for post-retirement medical coverage than HRAs. 44 percent of employers believe the post-retirement benefits of an HSA are very important, while only 13 percent of employers believe the same for HRAs.

   To view the entire study, please visit http://www.aappo.org/.    About the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations (AAPPO)  

Founded in 1983, AAPPO (http://www.aappo.org/) is the leading national association of preferred provider organizations (PPOs). PPOs put control for medical decisions in the hands of the physician and patient, resulting in easy access to the right care, provided by the right doctor, at the right time. AAPPO creates a forum for discussion and dissemination of PPO best practices.

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American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations

CONTACT: Teresa Schofield, +1-202-347-7516, [email protected], for the American Association of PreferredProvider Organizations

Web site: http://www.aappo.org/