The average health savings account (HSA) balance increased 37% in 2014, from $1,408 to $1,933, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). For those under the age of 25, balances averaged $655, and for those age 65 or older, they were $5,016. Today, 17 million policyholders and their dependents are covered in 13.8 million accounts holding $24.2 billion in assets as of year-end 2014.
EBRI’s figures are based on its database of 2.9 million HSAs
with $5 billion in assets. EBRI said that in 2014, 70% of these accounts received
contributions, either from individuals or from employers. Eighty
percent of the accounts with contributions had a distribution in 2014, EBRI
said. These accounts with both a contribution and a distribution ended the year with an average account balance of $2,105. Those without a
distribution had an average of $3,428 in the account at the end of 2014.
Thirty percent of the accounts in the EBRI HSA database had neither employer nor individual contributions in 2014. These accounts started the year with an average balance of $1,054 and ended it with an average balance of $892.
Individual contributions averaged $1,121 in 2014, and employer contributions averaged $527. Distributions for medical claims averaged $1,194. Overall, 53% of HSAs had individual contributions, 52% had employer contributions, and 61% had distributions, according to EBRI.
The average distribution for health care claims increased with age, except for those age 65 and older. For those under age 25, the average distribution was $636. For those between the ages of 55 and 64, that rose to $2,373. However, it dipped slightly, to $2,124, among individuals age 65 and older.
Also, the longer an individual has held an HSA account, the higher the average amount distributed for health care claims. Those who opened an account in 2004 had an average annual distribution of $3,262, compared with $2,319 for those who opened an account in 2011.
Not surprisingly, contributions increase by age. For those under age 25, contributions averaged $1,023, and for those between the ages of 55 and 64, they averaged $3,317.
The average HSA contributions that EBRI found are higher than the findings from HelloWallet, which, using 2013 data on 400,000 HSA accounts from UMB Bank, found that the mean deferral was $1,591 and the median deferral was just $700.
EBRI’s issue brief on HSA contributions, distributions and average account balances can be uploaded here.