Health savings accounts (HSA) and the high-deductible health insurance plans that are eligible to be coupled with them are a new type of consumer-directed health plan attracting interest among employers and consumers. HSA-eligible plans constitute a small but growing share of the private insurance market, and the novel structure of the plans has raised questions about how they could affect enrollees' health care purchasing decisions and costs. This statement is based on GAO's August 2006 report entitled "Consumer-Directed Health Plans: Early Enrollee Experiences with Health Savings Accounts and Eligible Health Plans" (GAO-06-798). In this report, GAO reviewed (1) the financial features of HSA-eligible plans in comparison with those of traditional plans, such as preferred provider organizations (PPO); (2) the characteristics of HSA-eligible plan enrollees in comparison with those of traditional plan enrollees or others; (3) HSA funding and use; and (4) enrollees' experiences with HSA-eligible plans.
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