2023: Gender Lens in Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

Publisher: Edgar Manjarrez, CPFA®, CRPS™ Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

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2023: Gender Lens in Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

The cost of healthcare is a common concern among employees. In one survey, 61% of pre-retirees reported being concerned about having enough money to pay for healthcare in retirement. Estimates show that an average 65-year-old couple retiring today will need about $296,000 to cover out-of-pocket healthcare costs in retirement. A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a resource for employees to manage and fund their immediate and long-term healthcare expenses. Since first being introduced in 2003, HSAs have grown to $104 billion in assets and 35.5 million accounts at year-end 2022—a 24% annual growth rate over the past 16 years. Our new HSA gender lens study is the third study released and was conducted to aid in understanding potential gender differences in the financial behavior and actions of plan participants. It is estimated that a healthy woman’s lifetime healthcare insurance premiums are nearly $200,000 higher than those of a healthy man. That gap heightens the importance of women carefully planning to help cover their present and future medical expenses. This is particularly important given the fact that women’s longevity is generally greater than men.