New Health Savings Account Answer Book From Aspen Publishers Answers Tough Questions About Newest Consumer-Driven Healthcare Plan

(NEW YORK, N.Y., August 24, 2005) – With the Bush Administration encouraging employers to adopt Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), the new model of consumer-driven healthcare, established by law in December 2003 and effective in January 2004, vendors are entering the marketplace with numerous and various types of plans. Understanding the rules governing such plans can be difficult, because agency guidance takes many forms and continues to evolve. To help employers and their advisors find concise, reliable, and objective answers to critical questions, Aspen Publishers has released the Health Savings Account Answer Book. Aspen Publishers is a leading information provider for employee benefits and human resource professionals (

Although consumer-driven healthcare plan s have been around for several years, new legislation authorizing HSAs has spurred additional interest in the concept. The number of employers offering HSAs as a healthcare option is growing, and most employers are eager for information on the topic. The Health Savings Account Answer Book clearly explains HSAs, how they work with high-deductible health plans, how they affect employees, and how they can save money for employers.

“The explosive growth of HSAs in 2005 is being caused in part by the many positive articles in the general press, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post, among others. National Public Radio also recently ran a positive segment on HSAs,” said Gary L. Lesser, one of the co-authors of the Health Savings Account Answer Book. “This is exactly what happened with 401(k) plans in the 1980s. They took off when the general press started publishing positive articles about them.”

In the coming years, the vast majority of employers will likely consider whether to adopt an HSA or other consumer-driven option. In considering HSAs and other consumer-driven healthcare plan s, employers need reliable comparative information and benchmarks for measuring plans. The Health Savings Account Answer Book provides all of this.

“This is a hot topic for employers right now,” said Lesser. “As they consider health plan decisions for 2006, employers are eager for information about consumer-driven healthcare plans and HSAs in particular, especially since the federal government is encouraging federal employees to enroll in these programs.”

The Health Savings Account Answer Book answers well over 400 key questions on all aspects of HSA establishment, administration, and compliance including rules and penalties; medical coverage; contributions and deductions; distributions; rollovers and transfers; fiduciaries; filing requirements; and more.

All of this information is presented in quick access, Q&A format, making it much easier for employers to ask the right questions and find the right answers. Employers can quickly learn answers to questions ranging from the general — What are the advantages HSAs offer over the other consumer-driven health plans? — to the specific — What six conditions must employers satisfy and what actions must they be avoid in order for an HSA to be exempt from ERISA?

About the Authors

Gary S. Lesser is a nationally known consultant, author, educator and speaker on retirement plans. He also provides marketing, sales and technical support services to financial consultants, insurance agents, pension practitioners, investment managers and financial institutions. Mr. Lesser is the technical editor and co-author of Aspen Publishers’ SIMPLE, SEP, and SARSEP Answer Book, Life Insurance Answer Book for Qualified Plans and Estate Planning, Roth IRA Answer Book, 457 Answer Book and Quick Reference to IRAs.

Christine L. Keller is an attorney with Groom Law Group, Washington, D.C. Christine joined Groom Law Group in 2001 after practicing for six years at the Office of Chief Counsel, Employee Benefits and Exempt Organizations Division (now Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division). She is one of the principal authors of the two sets of final cafeteria plan regulations that the IRS published in 2000 and 2001.

Susan D. Diehl is president of PenServ, Inc., a pension consulting firm serving a client base of more than 800 organizations. The firm provides retirement plan services, including technical manuals, a monthly news publication, a hotline services and an in-house review of plan documents and administrative procedures. Ms. Diehl is a contributor to Individual Retirement Account Answer Book and a co-author of Roth IRA Answer Book and SIMPLE, SEP, and SARSEP Answer Book (all from Aspen Publishers).

For More Information

For more information or to order copies of the Health Savings Account Answer Book (330 pages; $199) , call 1-800-638-8437 or visit

About Aspen Publishers

Aspen Publishers (, headquartered in New York, is a leading information provider for employee benefits and human resource professionals . Written by the nation’s leading authorities, Aspen’s products consist of analytical and practical information in a full range of formats. Aspen Publishers is a Wolters Kluwer ( business and is part of the Wolters Kluwer Legal unit.

Wolters Kluwer is a leading multinational publisher and information services company. Wolters Kluwer has annual revenues (2004) of €3.3 billion, employs approximately 18,400 people worldwide and maintains operations across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Its depositary receipts of shares are quoted on the Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices.

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EDITORS’ NOTE: Editorial review copies of Health Savings Account Answer Book are available upon request for members of the press. Contact Leslie Bonacum, 847-267-7153 or or Neil Allen, 847-267-2179 or