Consumer-directed health plans, such as HSA-compatible high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), are now the norm among large employers, according to an annual survey of large employers by the National Business Group on Health. Its Large Employers’ 2017 Health Plan Design Survey found that 84 percent of survey respondents are offering at least one consumer-directed health plan as an option in 2017, with an HSA-compatible high-deductible health plan the most popular design option. In fact, 35 percent of responding employers will offer only consumer-directed health plans to their employees.
Some of the growth in HSA balances results from employer contributions to employee HSAs. The National Business Group on Health survey found that the vast majority of employers that offer HSA-compatible HDHPs make contributions to employee HSAs. Employers use a variety of funding options, such as making an initial contribution to “fund” the HSA, contributing a predetermined amount each year, or matching employee contributions. The median employer HSA contribution is $600 for self-only coverage and $1,100 for family coverage. Only 15 percent of employers offering an HSA-compatible HDHP do not make any employer contributions to employee HSAs.