LOUISVILLE, KY. - Nov. 15, 2004 - To meet the ongoing need for affordable individual health care coverage, Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) has launched HumanaOne HSA, a high-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP), coupled with a tax-deductible health savings account (HSA) that allows participants to set aside money that can be used tax free to pay for qualified medical expenses. The HumanaOne HSA can save consumers money over traditional low-deductible health insurance options, while offering consumers a way to conveniently save for out-of-pocket health care expenses.
According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation Health Poll Report, 71 percent of adults believe the most important reason to have insurance is to protect against high medical bills rather than pay for everyday health care expenses. Many consumers also understand that low-deductible health plans, which can be more expensive, often provide more coverage than they need. The HumanaOne HSA fills a need for uninsured individuals and families seeking affordable coverage.
"Humana believes that engaging consumers in both the selection and use of their health plan is the best - and perhaps the only - way to address the challenge of rising health care cost," said Mike McCallister, president and chief executive officer for Humana. "Humana is committed to providing consumers with the knowledge, tools and guidance they need to be successful, savvy health care consumers. We're offering people the opportunity to make wise decisions and ultimately use their health care dollars to their advantage."
Designed for effortless enrollment
While many HSAs appear similar, Humana has gone to great lengths to ease the administration of and enrollment in the HumanaOne HSA. Humana has eliminated the typical multi-step application process associated with most other HSA products and has developed a simple one-step, one-application process that enables consumers to enroll in both the Humana HDHP as well as an HAS administered by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., a global leader in the development of electronic payment solutions. JPMorgan Chase will also provide customers with transaction services and a HumanaAccess VISA debit card so they can access contributed funds. The HumanaAccess VISA debit card can be used at any participating doctor's office, hospital, pharmacy or urgent care facility.
"While it's important to educate consumers, we believe that's only the first step in making the health insurance process more affordable and accessible," said Tod Zacharias, vice president of Humana's small group and individual products segment. "We know how complex health insurance and health savings accounts can seem, particularly if you're self-employed and don't have a broker or human resources department to assist you. That's why we've worked so hard to make this as effortless as possible for consumers."
Humana also understands that some consumers want flexibility and freedom of choice in how their funds are invested and where their HSA is administered. For this reason, Humana also gives consumers the option to pair the Humana HDHP with an HSA administered by other banks or financial institutions.
Humana believes its HumanaOne HSA, which incorporates many of the concepts and features found in its "Smart" insurance products for large and small businesses, will appeal to a range of people who don't have health care coverage - often either because they are self-employed or opt for early retirement - and have been historically challenged when it comes to purchasing affordable health insurance. Humana expects participants to include those looking to control health care costs, who want to use pre-tax money to pay for health care, or who are looking for additional tax-saving options.
The company expects HSAs to be initially most popular in the individual coverage market. For that reason, Humana chose to offer an individual HSA first, but plans to introduce an HSA for employer groups in early 2005.
About HumanaOne HSA
The HumanaOne HSA is a high-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP), coupled with a tax-deductible health savings account that enables participants to pay for medical expenses and accumulate savings to cover future health care needs. Since there is no "use it or lose it" rule, unused funds can be rolled over from year to year, enabling consumers to build a tax-free nest egg for their health care needs. Contributions to the HSA are tax-deductible, earnings are tax-deferred and qualified distributions are tax-free.
To qualify for the HumanaOne HSA, consumers must be under the age of 65, not be claimed as a dependent on anyone else's tax return and not be enrolled for Medicare benefits. Participants are required to purchase an HDHP with annual deductibles of at least $1,000 for an individual and $2,000 for a family. Consumers can dip into their HSA at any age - tax free - to pay for medical expenses, which include deductibles and co-payments, as well as many charges that typically aren't covered by health insurance, such as over-the-counter drugs, vision and dental care, and long-term care insurance premiums.
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Treasury Services is a unit of JPMorgan Chase Bank, a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.1 trillion and operations in more than 50 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and businesses, financial transaction processing, asset and wealth management, and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has its corporate headquarters in New York and its U.S. retail financial services and commercial banking headquarters in Chicago. Under the JPMorgan, Chase and Bank One brands, the firm serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients. Information about the firm is available on the Internet at www.jpmorganchase.com.
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation's largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with approximately 7 million medical members located primarily in 15 states and Puerto Rico. Humana offers a diversified portfolio of health insurance products and related services - through traditional and consumer-choice plans - to employer groups, government-sponsored plans, and individuals. Over its 43-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio. More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company's web site at http://www.humana.com, including copies of:
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Humana Corporate Communications
JPMorgan Chase Media Relations