The number of employers offering health savings accounts is set to more than quadruple next year, according to a report by Mellon Financial Corp.'s human-resources consulting practice.
In a survey of 361 large employers, 32% of respondents said they planned to offer an HSA in 2006, up from 7% that now offer the option.
HSAs, authorized under the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, pair a high-deductible health plan with a tax-free savings account for out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Two percent of employers planning to offer an HSA for the first time in 2006 said they would make it employees' only coverage option. Some 66% said they would contribute to the tax-free accounts, according to the survey.
On average, respondents hoped to enroll 24% of eligible employees in HSAs, up from an average of 16% enrolled today.
Two-thirds of respondents said they believed HSAs could be designed to help consumers make wiser medical-spending decisions.