Originally posted May 7, 2014 by Jerry Geisel on www.businessinsurance.com

Enrollment in health savings accounts continues to surge as more employers are moving to consumer-driven health care plans, Fidelity Investments said Wednesday.

Fidelity said in a statement that the number of HSAs it administered in 2013 jumped to 269,000; up nearly 48% compared with 182,000 in 2012 and a 126% increase over 2011, when Fidelity administered 119,000 HSAs.

“Fidelity continues to drive adoption of its health savings account business as companies and their employees realize their potential advantages both today and over the long haul,” Will Applegate, a Fidelity vice president in Boston, said in the statement.

Numerous surveys have found that the cost of high-deductible consumer-driven health care plans linked to HSAs are less costly compared with other health care plans.

For example, a survey last year by Mercer L.L.C. found that the cost of coverage in CDHPs with HSAs is about 20% lower, on average, than the cost of preferred provider organization coverage — $8,482 per employee compared with $10,196 per employee for preferred provider organization coverage.

That cost difference will become even more important starting in 2018, when a health care reform law provision that imposes a 40% excise tax on health care plan costs exceeding $10,200 for single coverage and $27,500 for family coverage kicks in.