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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Contact: Brenda Bertrand
Tel: 202-606-2402

16,546 Federal Employees Register for Health Savings Account Information on OPM Site; 241,000 Log-on In 5 Months

Increase highlights strong interest among federal employees in HSAs

Washington, D.C. - Federal employees' interest in Health Savings Account (HSA) continues to rise according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) recent statistics showing 16,546 people have registered their e-mail addresses in the HSA website's (www.opm.gov/hsa) database requesting more information. To date, 241,216 Federal employees have logged on to the site since its September 20 debut. 

OPM Director Kay Coles James said, "Federal employees continue to learn more about new High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) and accompanying HSAs being offered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. The education process among employees is ongoing, and OPM is not surprised by the influx of interest and requests for additional information. What makes these programs appealing is choice and affordability, and enrollments will increase as more FEHB carriers make HDHP options available. There is a quality plan available to match the variety of needs expressed by employees, retirees and family members."

President George W. Bush made HSAs available to Federal employees with the signing of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003.

In response to the act, Director James requested Health Savings Accounts as tax-advantaged products that empower enrollees in High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) to use their medical dollars wisely and save money for future medical needs. In 2005, the FEHB program is offering 14 HDHPs, through which HSA accounts are available. To assist with the process of educating employees and stakeholders, OPM added an HSA worksheet to the OPM HSA website, www.opm.gov/hsa/. The worksheet assists Federal employees in calculating the potential benefits HSAs can offer.

Additionally, OPM previously posted to its website answers to frequently asked questions about the HSA product. Those postings were also a result of enormous interest in the new health-care product, as registered by the total number of visitors to OPM's HSA web site.

Health Savings Accounts are tax-advantaged products that empower enrollees in High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) to use their medical dollars wisely and save money for future medical needs. In 2005, the FEHB Program is offering 14 HDHPs, through which HSA accounts are available. HSAs enable enrollees to build tax-free savings accounts for current and future medical expenses, and provide them greater flexibility and discretion over how to utilize their health care benefits.    

Last September, OPM introduced HSAs to Federal employees as another way they can manage their health care needs, and soon will issue the latest numbers of those who have enrolled in an HSA.

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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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