Americans Rush to Open HSAs

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Call centers gear up for consumer questions.

Consumers are scrambling to get their new Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) opened by 2006, according to PFPC, a leading provider of processing, technology and business solutions whose central processing and call center in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, recently saw the number of new health savings accounts (HSAs) being opened triple in just three days. Anticipating a flurry of calls and questions from new account holders, PFPC’s call center staff levels are already ramped up and ready for the expected end-of-the-year rush.

This rush reflects advice from many financial experts who say that some consumers may be able to save considerably in terms of taxes this year by having their HSA set up and initially funded by April 15, 2006.

These new account holders are in the vanguard of consumer-directed healthcare, and like most first responders, they have questions as they set up their new accounts. “We expect a significant increase in the number of calls as people get their HSAs in place,” said Laura Glammer, vice president and director of PFPC’s Valley Forge call center. “Nearly 3,000 employees at just one client company opened new accounts over the past week, and we think its likely the volume will increase as account holders begin to both fund and withdraw money in the New Year.”

During the first three weeks of December, PFPC processed more than 12,000 new individual HSA accounts and new accounts are expected to continue to grow substantially in 2006. From a state-of-the-art centralized call center based in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, more than 300 PFPC professionals are dedicated to answering questions from account holders and mutual fund shareholders.

“Although HSAs have been available since 2004, they really took off in the most recent health plan open enrollment period and are a new savings vehicle for hundreds of thousands of Americans who will begin the new year enrolled for the first time in an HSA-qualified high deductible health plan,” said James Gandolfo, senior director and vice president within global business development overseeing PFPC’s HSA service offering.

PFPC, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, offers fund accounting and administration, transfer agency, custody and subaccounting services for $1.9 trillion in total assets and more than 58 million shareholder accounts. PFPC also services and provides behind-the-scenes support to HSA account holders on behalf of clients across the country. Our third-party HSA customer servicing includes enrollment, recordkeeping and transaction processing on behalf of banks, insurance companies and health plans. Please visit us at http://www.pfpc.com.

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. is one of the nation's largest diversified financial services organizations providing consumer and business banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management; asset management and global fund services.

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Jeanette Harrison-Sullivan
PFPC
617-338-4730
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