Federal employees are enjoying more choices, more options and more control regarding their Health Savings Accounts after the Office of Personnel Management announced the posting of a new HSA worksheet to its HSA website.
High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) with an HSA provide comprehensive health benefits coverage for major medical costs in a tax-advantaged way, enabling enrollees to build a savings for future medical expenses. HDHPs with an HSA give greater control over how an employee’s health care dollars are spent – both HSA funds and out-of-pocket expenses.
The worksheet helps individuals interested in an HSA to compare different HDHPs with each other and traditional health benefits plans in order to determine if an HDHP is right for them.
“Federal employees need to be aware of the potential benefits HSAs can offer, and this worksheet will do just that,” said OPM Director Kay Coles James.
“To effectively educate federal consumers on all health care options available to them, we must provide as many resources as possible.”
The Health Savings Accounts were made available to federal employees with the signing of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, giving federal employees more consumer choices for their health care options. The new worksheet will help federal employees get a better idea of what their out-of-pocket health care costs will be.
The message is getting out to feds, James said, reporting that more than 180,000 unique users have visited the HSA site since it was activated.
“The fact that the HSA website is so popular shows how much interest there is with this new health care option,” said James. “It’s in every federal employee’s best interest to consider how they and their families may benefit by enrolling in a health plan with an HSA.”
All told, in 2005 OPM said federal employees will have more than 200 health care options from which to choose in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, including, for the first time, two nationwide HDHPs, as well as geographically based HDHPs in 34 states plus the District of Columbia.
Giving the nation’s government employees more choices, more options and more control regarding their Heath Savings Accounts should be good news for many federal workers.