When Health and Wealth Collide

Health and wealth are two sectors where boundaries will continue to blur as consumers take on more financial responsibility for their own health and long-term care.  As the debate over national healthcare continues, one fact remains unquestioned:  consumers now pay for a major percentage of their own healthcare.  That trend is unlikely to reverse itself anytime soon.

New Products

To fund medical-related expenses, financial services companies have developed specialty products such as Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSAs).  McKinsey & Co. predicts that there will be more than 25 million HSAs in the U.S. by 2013, generating $55 billion to $75 billion in revenues.

Some healthcare providers (e.g., Blue Healthcare Bank) have also entered the game.

As the lines continue to blur between health and wealth providers, look for more hybrid products – e.g., debit cards, advisory services, investment accounts and supplemental risk products.  Also look for new service providers to help consumers, employers and retirees with payments and risk management.

New Providers?

Currently, all eyes are focused on the policy-makers.  Once the healthcare debate settles, the focus is likely to shift to the payment-makers.  It’s unclear who will dominate this new, growing market.  Banks?  Insurers?  Or a new sector, not yet to be envisioned.

Who do you think will take the lead?


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