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SunTrust Introduces Health Savings Accounts for Employers Seeking to Take Control of Healthcare Costs

ATLANTA, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) announced today a turn-key Consumer-Directed Healthcare (CDH) solution for employers seeking to take control of their healthcare costs. The SunTrust Health Savings Account (HSA) combines administrative and financial components, including a healthcare payment card, integrated account management, online healthcare tools, and HSA investment options, offered through a single trusted custodial partner.

"SunTrust is committed to providing solutions that assist our clients in establishing a sound financial foundation," said Gary Plourde, Senior Vice President, SunTrust Institutional Investments Director of Sales. "We recognize that managing the rising cost of healthcare while achieving sustainable business growth is one of the greatest challenges businesses face today. In an effort to meet the demands of this dynamic market, SunTrust has launched a turn-key HSA product designed to accommodate the business needs of any organization regardless of size."

In partnership with ConnectYourCare, a leading provider of innovative CDH tools and account administration, the SunTrust HSA incorporates a user friendly web portal with helpful wellness information to empower individuals to take greater control of their healthcare financial planning.

Benefits of the new service include:

-- Real-time Employer Reporting and Control Tools: Employers can manage their employee and account data through access to the Employer Dashboard, an online management tool that enables employers to maintain and update employee information, such as employment status, demographic information, direct deposit, and payroll deductions. Employers also have access to a variety of reports to help monitor account activity related to claims, as well as treasury-related money movement controls.

-- Participant Health Education and Empowerment Tools: The web portal provides a suite of online health-related tools such as hospital and drug comparisons, wellness and exercise guides, and medical research.

-- Healthcare Payment Card: The healthcare payment card provides a consumer-friendly process for expense reimbursement.

-- Banking and Investment Platform: Account holders will have access to HSA investments through a single sign-on portal, where they can view and select investment choices that include an FDIC insured deposit account and several mutual funds.

Enacted in 2003, as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act, HSAs have gained significant traction among various healthcare purchasing groups over the past few years. The flexibility in design allows individuals who have an eligible high deductible healthcare plan to contribute to a tax-advantaged savings account. Unlike their predecessors, which are opened through an employer, HSAs are consumer owned accounts that are attached to investment vehicles that help individuals save for unexpected medical expenses and plan for future healthcare and retirement needs.

"Consumer Directed Healthcare provides a more affordable option to employers and individuals and assist with their goal to live on solid ground," said Hugh Gallagher, Senior Vice President, SunTrust Retail Deposit Product Management. "By offering best in class product features including a multi-purse debit card, wellness tools, competitive investment options, 24/7 customer support, claims processing and online options, the SunTrust HSA is designed to help individuals take an active role in directing their healthcare financial future."

SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the nation's largest banking organizations, serving a broad range of consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients. As of September 30, 2008, SunTrust had total assets of $174.8 billion and total deposits of $115.9 billion. The Company operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high- growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and a full array of technology- based, 24-hour delivery channels. The Company also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries the Company provides mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage, equipment leasing and capital markets services. SunTrust's Internet address is

SOURCE SunTrust Banks, Inc.
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