Health savings accounts have been around for nearly a decade. Over the years, we’ve seen significant changes as HSAs adapted to the marketplace and to fulfill Americans’ health care needs. As a result, both the number of HSA accounts — and the dollars in them — have risen sharply.

With most of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act effective Jan. 1, 2014, HSAs stand poised to be reinvented, reinvigorated and rediscovered by a new segment of the population. They will expand at an even greater rate than in the past, presenting a great opportunity for credit unions to bring in new accounts and new customers, including partnering with small businesses.

A Brief History, A Look Ahead HSAs originally were designed to give small employers the opportunity to offer health care at a lower cost to their employees — a benefit that was previously too costly for many small businesses. As the shift to affordable health care benefits was occurring among small businesses, many large employers began converting their traditional HMOs and PPOs to high-deductible health plans in an effort to cut costs. This shift among both large and small businesses drove the explosion of HDHPs and HSAs in the last decade.

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