Health savings accounts have beenaround for nearly a decade. Over the years, we've seen significantchanges as HSAs adapted to the marketplace and to fulfillAmericans' health care needs. As a result, both the number of HSAaccounts — and the dollars in them — have risen sharply.

With most of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Acteffective 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 newaccounts and new customers, including partnering with smallbusinesses.

A Brief History, A Look Ahead

HSAs originally were designed to give small employers theopportunity to offer health care at a lower cost to their employees— a benefit that was previously too costly for many smallbusinesses. As the shift to affordable health care benefits wasoccurring among small businesses, many large employers beganconverting their traditional HMOs and PPOs to high-deductiblehealth plans in an effort to cut costs. This shift among both largeand small businesses drove the explosion of HDHPs and HSAs in thelast decade.

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