SOURCE: IntellectualMarketing, LLC

April 13, 2007 16:13 ET

Twin Cities Business Outlook and Nicolet Bank Business Pulse Report Unusually High Penetration: Four Times National Average in Green Bay; Three Times in Twin Cities

GREEN BAY, WI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 13, 2007 -- Green Bay leads the nation and the Twin Cities are above average in the adoption of Health Savings Accounts as employee benefits.

Two studies released this week -- Twin Cities Business Outlook and Nicolet Bank Business Pulse -- revealed an unusually high market penetration of the relatively new health insurance schemes called HSAs. Studies from The Kaiser Family Foundation of Menlo Park (CA) show that just 7% of employers nationally use the new, tax-free HSAs as part of their benefit plans.

Green Bay has a 30% market penetration; Minneapolis has 19%.

Studies were conducted in January/February 2007; a representative sample of CEOs and business owners in each market participated. Results were reported by Dr. David Wegge, president of IntellectualMarketing, LLC.

Additional Findings:

Of the business owners in Green Bay who currently don't offer a HSA plan, 60% say they are considering a HSA as part of their future benefit package (30% are not considering it; 10% are not sure).

In the Twin Cities, 40% are considering offering HSAs in the future; 40% are not considering it; 17% are not sure.

In Green Bay, 85% of the CEOs and business owners who offer HSAs selected the HSA as their own plan. In Minneapolis, 65% of the CEOs and business owners who offer HSAs selected the HSA as their own.

Employee participation varies widely in organizations that offer HSAs: In the Green Bay market 42% of the CEOs who offer HSAs say 75% or more of their employees took the HSA; 21% have employee participation between 50-74%; 25% between 25-49%; just 4% have less participation.

In the Twin Cities, 36% of the CEOs who offer HSAs say 75% or more of their employees are enrolled; 26% have employee participation of 50-74%; 12% between 25-49%; 20% below 25%.

"I'm confident that there are many reasons why HSAs are popular," said Dr. Wegge, "but not exactly sure why the numbers are so well above the national average. I'm thinking both markets are more sophisticated buyers and utilizers of healthcare, but we'll have to test that in a future study."

Both studies available: Nicolet Bank Business Pulse: http://pulse.nicoletbank.com/nicoletbankpulse/nnb+business+pulse/executive+summaries/2007/default.asp

Twin Cities Business Outlook: http://www.mibizoutlook.com/mibusiness/executive+summaries/default.asp

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