A Health Savings Account (HSA) is an enticing option for employees and employers alike. HSAs offer employees the most control over their healthcare decisions plus valuable tax-savings and long-term-investment options. Meanwhile, HSAs provide myriad cost-saving opportunities for employers offering a supplemental high-deductible health plan (HDHP).
Yet, according to a national survey conducted in 2020 by the JAMA Network, approximately one in three adults enrolled in an HDHP hadn’t opened an HSA, and, among those with an HSA, most had not contributed money into it during the previous 12 months.
The survey concluded that a lack of awareness about the advantages and uses of these HSA/HDHP coupled accounts creates a barrier to enrollment.
So how can your organization cut costs while providing cost-saving value to employees?
Check out these four actionable tips for increasing HSA adoption among employees this open enrollment season.
Educate your employees with clear messaging
HSAs…HRAs…FSAs…It’s no wonder employees feel confused and overwhelmed when it comes to making decisions about their benefits. According to a 2018 Aflac report, 40% of employees would rather do three hours of hot yoga than research their benefits during open enrollment.
This is why educating your employees with effective, simple communications is key to clearing up any confusion about health savings accounts and increasing participation.
Literally, pointing out to your workforce that these “health savings accounts” are designed for saving money is important. By clearly outlining the accompanying lower-premium HDHPs, triple tax savings on HSA funds, and interest gained over a lifetime of compounding contributions, your organization can pique the interest of eligible employees looking for ways to reduce healthcare spending.
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Create engaging benefits communications
While providing easy-to-understand messaging about HSAs is important, so is the method in which you communicate this critical information. When it comes to benefits-program offerings, employees often don’t know the basics, like where to go to learn about their plan options. On top of that, employees don’t read boring benefits-communication emails and guides.
In order to educate your employees on the perks of an HSA and to increase enrollment, your employee communications need to both reach and engage your workforce. Instead of handing out giant brochures or sending super-wordy emails that won’t get read, use high-engagement communication solutions like Digital Postcards, HR explainer videos, and employee texting to drive response.
It’s clear that today’s virtually inclined workforce loves visual, interactive messaging. Digital Postcards and other centralized content, including videos, can help to eliminate repeat questions from employees and replace your benefits fairs by housing all the information employees need in one easy-to-access place.
The best part about virtual communications? You can easily consolidate and disseminate important HSA/HDHP (and other benefits open enrollment information) quickly using links via text or email.
Provide a reliable, easy-to-use decision-support tool
In many instances, employees benefit most from enrolling in an HDHP combined with an HSA, especially younger, healthier employees. Yet, as mentioned before, a lack of knowledge around HDHPs and HSAs often prevents employees from even considering those options.
In fact, a 2018 Willis Towers Watson survey found that the majority (69%) of the employees who did not enroll in an HSA say they chose not to enroll because they didn’t see any benefits to an HSA, they didn’t understand what they were, or they just didn’t take the time to understand them. Meanwhile, 62% of the employees surveyed stated they would use tools to help them decide how much to save in their HSA each year, if it was offered by their employer.
Bottom line, your employees want and need help making decisions when it comes to their benefits healthcare. Therefore, in order to increase HSA enrollment this OE season, your organization needs a comprehensive decision-support tool to help your employees better understand and utilize these plans.
Not sure if a decision support tool is right for you? Learn more about benefits decision support tools in our online guide.
Communicate your benefits program year-round
Your employees are busy with work, family, and life in general. So, when open enrollment season comes around, it’s just one extra thing they need to address, which can seem overwhelming and lead to bad benefits decisions. Aside from communicating with your employees about their benefits during open enrollment season, continuing to touch base with them year-round to educate them on their options will help to increase participation (and lead to better choices) when the time comes.
If your employees are familiar with the plan options your organization offers—because you’ve continually educated them on best practices and consumer healthcare throughout the year—they will be more likely to choose the plan(s) that are right for them.