New Report Finds Huge Opportunities for Health Savings Accounts in Coming Era of Private Exchanges

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Leading health care consultants John Young and Todd Berkley examine cost-savings potential of health savings accounts and private exchanges in new report co-produced by The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism.

Driven by the emerging private health exchange sector, health savings accounts may be poised to quadruple their growth over the next six years, according to a new report published by Consumerdriven, LLC and HSA Consulting Services, LLC.

Between February and April 2014, veteran consultants John Young, chief executive officer, Consumerdriven, LLC, and Todd Berkley, president, HSA Consulting Services, LLC, approached 33 private exchange vendors, gathered data and conducted interviews with the objective of determining if there was a relationship between the method of benefit distribution, the financial incentives used (i.e. defined contribution vs. subsidized premium) and health savings account (HSA) adoption.

The resulting study, The Power of Choice: The Game-Changing Combination of Private Exchanges and Health Savings Accounts, reveals important data on the increasing role of health care consumerism strategies in the future of the U.S. health care system

While health savings accounts have experienced a steady growth rate over the past decade, health exchanges, especially private exchanges, have already demonstrated a tendency to accelerate the rate of HSA adoption among health consumers – both within the employer-sponsored and individual health care markets.

The study's co-authors examined the choices that consumers were making in these health care marketplaces and found a six- to eight-fold increase in HSA adoption in private exchanges compared to the traditional approaches used today in the commercial marketplace. In exchanges utilizing a defined contribution funding strategy, the potential for HSA adoption is even higher.

“Our findings have caused us to reassess the potential market growth in the HSA market,” said John Young. “We predict that 50 million Americans will be covered by HSA-qualified health plans by January 1, 2019 and that HSA account adoption will grow to 37 million in that time period – up from 11 million today. We also predict that exchanges will drive more than half of that growth.”

However, the researchers were also surprised that many private exchange vendors were caught off-guard by the research request, and in fact, found many were unaware of the HSA adoption they were creating.

“Exchanges provide the best opportunity for HSA adoption – but not all exchanges are focused on providing the best HSA customer experience,” said Todd Berkley. “In fact, many exchanges are not aware of HSA revolution happening inside their offering. There is room for improvement here.”

The paper closes with a series of recommendations for employers, health plans, brokers and consultants looking to successfully navigate the coming industry changes.

To download the full report, visit, or A full review of the survey's findings – along with updates from 2014 open enrollment – will be presented at the IHC FORUM West this November. To learn more, visit

About Consumerdriven, LLC

John Young is a leading national consultant in all things consumer-driven, including health plan strategies, HRA/HSA plan design and pricing, defined contribution, transparency and exchange strategies. He was a pioneer in the beginning of consumer-driven health care and continues to be devoted to improving the consumerism customer experience through all stakeholders -- health plans, HSA custodians, exchanges, employers, benefit advisors, doctors and hospitals. He is active in advising policy makers and trade organizations on health care reform and consumerism. He is former senior vice president, consumerism, Cigna. For more information, visit

About HSA Consulting Services, LLC

HSA Consulting Services provides consulting services focused on HSA growth. We are passionate advocates for HSA growth and education. As a leading voice in the health savings account (HSA) industry, we can help companies engage employees in the HSA experience, assist current players to profitably grow their CDHC businesses and advise CDHC market entrants. To learn more, visit or

About The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism

The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism is the only multi-platform, collaborative environment focused exclusively on innovative health and benefit management. It’s a place for employers, TPAs, solution providers, brokers, advisors, consultants and administrators of regional health plan providers to learn, connect and share through publications, live conferences and an online community at

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