Open enrollment is knocking on the door once again and as we scramble to get ready we should be communicating to our employees the benefits of having a Health Savings Account (HSA). As the number of employers expected to offer an HSA-eligible health plan (either as an option or as the only option) continues to increase, you need to get your employees up to speed on its benefits. And it isn’t that challenging of a story to tell.
Here are some pointers to get your employees thinking about this plan offering differently:
First off, you could name your plan something other than “high deductible” plan to make it more appealing. A plan name can incorporate key words like “saver” or “consumer,” for example. And lay the foundation for the attributes that are similar to your other plan offerings if they exist, such as sharing the same network and covered services.
Communicating payroll deductions and out-of-pocket maximums shouldn’t be a roadblock either. When employees are receiving a company contribution (even better when it’s pre-funded), show them how all the pieces come into play. “What If” scenarios are a great way to illustrate to employees exactly how the plan will work and how it compares to other plan options.
Then don’t forget about all of the benefits of an HSA. That story sells itself, but if you don’t tell it – and continue to retell it – then you won’t get employees on board. Promote these health savings account key advantages:
• Triple tax savings – no need to say anymore. Contributions to an HSA are not taxed, your savings grow tax-free, and the money is tax-free when used to pay for qualified health expenses today or in the future. Check out this recent blog post for more details.
• Company contribution – it’s like a company match into a 401k, however HSA contributions are yours to use right away to pay for qualified medical expenses.
• Savings for retirement – start growing the balance in your HSA to help pay for health care expenses during retirement. It’s going to cost far more than you imagined.
• Investment opportunities – be sure to remind employees about these, too. There are a growing number of HSA members that are looking to invest their contributions in stocks, mutual funds and other investment vehicles.
These plans are not easy for employees to digest and fully understand over a short period of time – communicate to them repetitively, with simple messaging. The health savings account has been largely overlooked by employees, so don’t let them miss out on this incredible opportunity. Open enrollment or not, now is the time to help employees better understand HSAs – they deserve just as much focus as 401(k)s.