Are Brokers Telling the Right Message Going into Open Enrollment?
In fewer than eight short years, health care spending in the U.S. is expected to reach a staggering $6.19 trillion — an increase of more than 19% over today’s spend.
What’s more, the need for medical goods and health care services is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 2.4% from 2019 to 2028, accounting for 43% of the total projected growth in personal health care spending.1
How will consumers pay for it all? Many will look — and are already looking — to their employers for tools and resources to help them manage and pay for care. Because Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are key, brokers can help drive the narrative on how these valuable accounts can be leveraged to pay for health care now.
In a recent consumer survey, Further found that 65% of respondents report that they are using their HSAs for health care spending, with 23% stating they use the account for equal parts financial savings and health care spending. Yet, employers have a drastically different perception. Over 66% of employers associate HSAs with savings, leaving a gap in how employees are actually perceiving and leveraging these powerful accounts. It’s notable that a little less than a third of respondents reported tax benefits as a key factor in their decision to purchase an HSA. Knowing this, employers may want to focus on the benefit of leveraging an HSA for future health care needs instead. And this is where brokers can help.
While COVID-19 has brought about significant challenges, it actually opens up an opportunity for brokers to have a productive dialogue with employer clients about their team members health care and how best to help them save and spend funds in their employer-sponsored HSAs. By changing the dialogue and positioning HSAs as spending accounts, brokers can help educate employees on how to shop for the right care at the right price for them. Not only will this empower employees to navigate open enrollment confidently, but will increase employee benefits adoption, creating smarter and healthier employee populations.
Because of COVID-19, the open enrollment season for 2021 will likely look different. Employers now find themselves in a unique position where their employees are paying attention to their benefits more than ever. Brokers can help employers capitalize on this momentum to narrow the gap of understanding and shift messaging around HSAs to empower employees to become educated, engaged health care consumers.
Positioning HSAs as a savings tool or long-term investment vehicle no longer resonates with employees. Brokers can help employers update how they position HSAs, by focusing on messaging that emphasizes spending over saving and as a result, employees will be better equipped to navigate their health care.
This content, research and recommendations are provided "AS IS" and intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for, legal, operational, tax, or other advice. The actual benefits and costs of any programs may vary based upon individual program requirements and business needs.