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Press Release

Kaiser Permanente Launches Health Savings Accounts in California

Latest CDHC Product Emphasizing Prevention & Consumer Engagement

August 15, 2006

  REGIONS: National 



OAKLAND, Calif. – Kaiser Permanente today announced the launch of Custom Care HealthInvestor (HSA), (Health Savings Account) in its California regions. The new offering will be effective January 1, 2007. The California regions now join Georgia, Colorado, Mid-Atlantic States, and the Northwest regions in offering HealthInvestor (HSA) products which pair a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a health savings account option.

HealthInvestor (HSA), the latest offering in the Custom Care consumer directed health care suite of products, complements the recently announced (May 2006) Custom Care HealthBuilder (HRA) and the current deductible HMO. It is available to individuals, employers, and their employees. HealthInvestor (HSA) is a comprehensive package of services and tools that include:

  • HSA-qualified high deductible health plans with lower premiums
  • CarePay health savings account with a range of investment options
  • Preventive and wellness services
  • Online support tools

Contributions to the CarePay HSA may be made by the employer, the member, or both – similar to a 401K or IRA. Funds can roll over year after year with no income limitations, are not taxed when they are used for qualified medical expenses, and the account is portable. A debit card is provided which allows convenient access to funds to pay for health care services.

“HealthInvestor (HSA) offers convenience to the individual health care consumer, and also addresses the needs of employers who are looking for solutions that reduce their costs and help their employees stay healthy” stated Ted Wise, senior vice president, health plan strategy and product innovation. “The ability of the individual to save for specific health care expenditures, to benefit from important tax advantages, and to have a portable account makes it easier for Kaiser Permanente members to save and pay for their health care expenses. It’s a win for everyone.”

The introduction of HealthInvestor (HSA) in California is part of Kaiser Permanente’s evolving business strategy to better serve the changing needs of its customers and members by developing new products that are responsive to the marketplace. Kaiser Permanente now offers an array of consumer directed health care products with a range of benefit design and financial account options that have the advantage of providing access to Kaiser Permanente’s unique integrated delivery system. It is part of an overall strategy that includes a major investment in technology that advances its clinical, management and business systems; engages members in their own health care with sophisticated online health information, decision support tools, and discount programs.

Preventive health and wellness services, for which the organization has long been known, are a key advantage of Kaiser Permanente’s Custom Care product suite– which includes HealthInvestor (HSA). A wide range of Healthy Living classes and programs are offered at local medical centers that include Stress Reduction, How to Live with Chronic Conditions, Smoking Cessation, Yoga, even Tai Chi. Discounts are available for massage therapy, acupuncture, and select fitness clubs.

Online consumer support tools offer a broad array of assistance and services, and help to engage Kaiser Permanente members in making wise health care decisions. Among the online tools available are:

  • Decision support tools that help consumers better understand the cost of their health care decisions such as a sample fee list that provides pricing transparency.
  • Financial management of individual health accounts.
  • Health assessment tools offered through Kaiserpermanente.org that include interactive health calculators designed to help members eat better and lose weight, reduce stress, stop smoking, access to health and drug encyclopedias, and online health topics with related links.
  

About Kaiser Permanente

About Kaiser Permanente Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.