UMB’s HSA account balance surgesNews added by Benefits Pro on February 14, 2013

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By Kathryn Mayer

UMB Healthcare Services said Wednesday its health savings account balances grew 55 percent in the past year, reaching $615 million as of Jan. 31.

The number of HSAs also grew to nearly 320,000 individual accounts, up from the 220,000 following open enrollment last year, the company, a subsidiary of Kansas City-based UMB Financial Corp., said.

“Our HSA growth continues to reflect the trend we are seeing nationwide as more individuals and employers move toward consumer-directed health accounts,” UMB Healthcare CEO Dennis Triplett said in a statement. “We are now challenged with educating the growing number of employers and account holders on all that these accounts can offer toward future financial stability, beyond day-to-day health care expenses.”

Nationwide, more people than ever are utilizing health savings accounts. The number of people with an HSA rose to more than 13.5 million in 2012, up from 11.4 million the previous year, according to data from America’s Health Insurance Plans.

An HSA is an individually owned savings and investment account coupled with an HSA-powered health plan. Unlike flexible spending accounts, there is no ‘use-it or lose-it’ rule and qualified medical expenses can be withdrawn tax-free year after year.

UMB also said it saw a 29 percent increase in the number of debit cards it provides for flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements and HSAs. The number of cards in circulation has grown to more than 2.8 million, the company said.

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