New HSA Workgroup to develop best practices for health savings accounts

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PricewaterhouseCoopers and Medical Banking Project (MBProject) are joining forces to form the HAS Workgroup, a new initiative to develop best practices for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).

Once business rules are created, the group's focus will be to disseminate and maintain them to enable financial institutions, healthcare providers, payers and their members to communicate and perform healthcare financial transactions very much like banking, the organizations said.

HSAs were created by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 to be a tax-free savings accounts option for medical expenses that are open to individuals covered by high-deductible health insurance plans. The accounts can be used to cover health insurance deductibles and co-payments for medical services, prescriptions or products. By the end of 2005, it is predicted that consumer-directed plans like HSAs will be used by as many as 2.7 million members and could capture $1.6 billion in premiums by the end of 2005.