More importantly, I believe we are sowing the seeds for greater future savings through our commitment to free preventive care and incentivized wellness programs. Too often critics of consumer-driven healthcare claim that people with these plans will forgo preventive care to save money. In our plan, if the evidence and prevailing medical opinion suggests a preventive test or procedure, Alegent Health covers the entire cost. As a result, our employees are receiving preventive care at three times the national average, with nearly 7 cents of our healthcare dollars spent on prevention.
As an employer, we have always paid 75% of employees premium costs. Since consumer-driven healthcare coverage is generally less expensive, both our organization and employees are saving money. This opportunity to keep premiums low, combined with our ability to facilitate employees contributions to their HSAs through automatic payroll deduction, is an added benefit to employer-sponsored consumer-driven healthcare.
In Alegent Healths experience, more than 80% of our employees make regular contributions to their HSA and 32% have fully funded their deductibles. To those who believe that HSAs are merely a tool for the rich, our experience suggests otherwise. We have more employees making less than $25,000 a year enrolled in HSAs than those making over $100,000 per year; and, employees making less than $25,000 have contributed an average of $1,400 to their HSA. It is important to remember that this is the employees money and they can take it with them when they retire, change jobs or leave the workforce.
The success Alegent Health has had with engaging our workforce in consumer-driven care is due, in part, to the tremendous yearlong education campaign we initiated before employees could even enroll. Our corporate communications and human resources teams worked together to develop an extensive outreach effort that made use of a wide variety of tools to inform employees how a consumer-directed health plan would affect them. Not only was it important to educate employees and their spouses and families, but as a provider, we also recognized the need to reach out to the doctors in our community who would be seeing patients and dealing with a new form of payment.
We also recognized that as more consumers began to take greater control of their own healthcare and started spending their own money that they needed better information about the cost and quality of healthcare options. So we developed industry-leading transparency tools, including My Cost, a patent-pending, Web-based cost estimator that gives personally relevant pricing information along with the posting of 40 quality measures to help consumers make informed decisions about where and how they want to receive care. The results we have achieved are proof that given the benefit plan, tools and incentives, people canand domake informed healthcare decisions that improve their health and lower their costs.
Our approach to employer-provided, consumer-directed healthcare will generate critics on both sides of the issue. consumer-driven healthcare purists may see our premium contribution and incentives as distortions that continue to shield consumers from the total cost of healthcare. Opponents of consumer-driven healthcare plans will suggest we are only shifting costs to employees. However, our story is indisputable. Our experience demonstrates that we are lowering our organizations healthcare costs, and employees are spending less all while using more preventive services.
Alegent Health is not alone in its success. Other employers, large and small, are seeing similar results. Obama and the congressional leaders need to recognize these results and assure employers that similar consumer-driven healthcare-based efforts will have a place in their forthcoming proposals.
Wayne Sensor is chief executive officer of Alegent Health.