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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 27, 2004
Contact: Michael Orenstein
Tel: 202-606-2402

Director Kay James Announces Over 25,000 People Visit OPM's Website for Tax-Advantaged Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Accounts in First Week

Nearly 5,000 register for updates

Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Office of Personnel Management today announced that 25,566 individuals visited its Health Savings Account (HSA) website in its first week of operation, marking the growing interest in the new health option. Of those who visited the new website, 4,141 signed up to receive additional information via e-mail.

OPM's website (www.opm.gov/hsa) is available to help educate current and retired federal employees on HSAs and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), new tax-saving products that will be offered next year through 18 High Deductible Health Plans in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. The website was created in response to interest among Federal employees and in order to provide an extended education period on the new health-care option.

"Tax-advantaged Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements are important new options for federal employees and retirees enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program," said OPM Director Kay Coles James. "The Federal team deserves a full range of choices and can think for themselves. OPM seeks to increase options for employees and not to unfairly limit or stifle choice or competition. With careful review of available educational materials, I trust Federal employees to make informed financial and health-care decisions."

In general, current federal employees who are not enrolled in Medicare or covered by another insurance plan are eligible for an HSA; federal employees and federal retirees who are enrolled in Medicare are eligible for an HRA.

In addition to the registration page, OPM's website provides an introduction to High Deductible Health Plans, as well as general and specific features of the accompanying HSA and HRA programs.

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Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.


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