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Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements: Assets, Account Balances, and Rollovers, 2006-2010

28 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2011  

Paul Fronstin

Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

Date Written: January 2011


This paper examines HSA and HRA assets, account balances, and rollover amounts. It examines the types of individuals likely to have an HSA or HRA. It then examines differences and trends in account balances by demographics, income, contribution levels, and engagement in an individual’s own health care using a regression equation. Rollover amounts are then examined. In 2010, there was $7.7 billion in health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), spread across 5.7 million accounts. This is up from 2006, when there were 1.2 million accounts with $835.4 million in assets, and 2009, when 5 million accounts held $7.1 billion in assets. Increases in average account balances leveled off in 2008 and 2009, and fell slightly in 2010. In 2006, account balances averaged $696. They increased to $1,320 in 2007, a 90 percent increase. Account balances averaged $1,356 in 2008 and $1,419 in 2009, 3 percent and 5 percent increases, respectively. In 2010, average account balances fell to $1,355, down 4.5 percent from the previous year. Despite a decline in the average rollover amount in 2010, total assets being rolled over have been increasing. $4.2 billion was rolled over in 2010, up from $4 billion in 2009. The average rollover increased from $592 in 2006 to $1,295 in 2009, and fell to $1,029 in 2010. The percentage of individuals without a rollover decreased from 23 percent in 2006 to 10 percent in 2009 and increased slightly to 13 percent in 2010. Individuals who exercised, those who did not smoke, and those who were not obese had higher account balances and higher rollovers than those with less healthy behaviors. It was also found that individuals who used cost or quality information had higher account balances and higher rollovers compared with those who did not use such information. However, no relationship was found between either account balance or rollover amounts and various cost-conscious behaviors such as checking pricing before getting services or asking for generic drugs instead of brand names, among other things. Men have higher account balances than women, older individuals have higher account balances than younger ones, account balances increase with household income, and education has a significant impact on account balances independent of income and other variables.

Keywords: Account-based health plans, Consumer-driven health care, Employment-based benefits, Health insurance coverage, Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), Health savings accounts (HSAs), Health status

JEL Classification: I1, I11, J3, J32

Suggested Citation

Fronstin, Paul, Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements: Assets, Account Balances, and Rollovers, 2006-2010 (January 2011). EBRI Issue Brief, No. 353, January 2011. Available at SSRN:

Paul Fronstin (Contact Author)

Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) ( email )

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