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Questions Every Broker Should Ask Prospective HSA Administrators

The health savings account (HSA) market is changing.

What was once a means for employees to save and invest funds for future healthcare needs is now morphing into a way to pay for medical costs. This new reality means that employers, who want to provide their employees with tools they can use now to achieve healthier lives, need to know about HSA options designed with spenders in mind, rather than savers.

How do you find those options? By pressure testing your HSA administrators.

Strategic alignment

To ensure that an HSA administrator will serve as a true partner, rather than just a vendor, you need to know whether they’re aligned strategically with your clients. Be alert to indications that they:

  • Are committed to putting your clients’ interests first. If your clients want to help their employees meet their healthcare expenses today, find out if a prospective administrative partner gives spending and investing tools equal weight and presence.
  • Delivering a connected consumer experience. This could include consumer-friendly product features like multiple reimbursement methods to simplify the payment process, point-of-purchase tools that give spenders confidence they’re using their dollars wisely, or connecting to employer and partner tools that are focused on a shared objective of helping spenders reduce costs and improve health.
  • Demonstrate honesty, collaboration and commitment to your clients’ businesses, as well as openness to your and your clients’ input and influence.

To understand whether an HSA administrator meets these criteria, ask a lot of questions. The list below can get you started.

consider customer service in you new HSA administrator

Customer service

Easy access to comprehensive customer service is vital. As you evaluate administrators, ask:

  • Will you charge to send a spending account specialist to our clients’ open enrollment meetings?
  • What charges will you add for customizing materials in your customer library, and for material beyond your library?
  • What customer service support do you provide for members?
  • Do you provide customer service in-house or outsource it to a call center? If outsourcing, with what vendor(s) do you work? Where are they located?
  • How do you ensure that the customer service agents are trained to answer HSA-related questions?
  • If a member has a complex claims-related question, how do you interact with the customer service team?
  • What is your, or your customer service provider’s, customer satisfaction rating?

Technology platform

With most HSA consumer transactions conducted electronically, it’s critical that an administrator’s platform be configured to deliver a positive user experience.

  • Are all products and services built and managed on a single platform? How are they integrated?
  • How does the platform’s rules engine enable connected, integrated user experiences between products and plan years?
  • How will your technology platform accelerate consumer engagement and increase logins, clicks and page visits?
  • How easily can it accommodate additional products and services?
  • How much customization does your platform allow?
  • Do you own all the intellectual property built into the platforms’ back end?
consider technology when interviewing a potential HSA administrator
ask about the customer experience when considering a new HSA administrator

Customer experience

You’ll want to ensure that an account administrator supports your clients’ employees in adopting wise healthcare shopping behavior.

  • What does the vendor understand about your clients?
  • What does it understand about the consumer experience your clients want to provide?
  • Has the vendor done customer journey mapping from plan selection to welcome, onboarding, wellness and beyond?
  • Can the vendor support your clients’ digital strategies instead of deploying its own?
  • What other services can the vendor provide with that will be relevant, easy and seamless for your clients’ members?
  • Is the vendor focused only on HSA customers? Has it identified a path for transitioning future consumers, such as those migrating from PPOs and HMOs?

Because you know your clients best, you’ll likely come up with additional questions to gauge whether an administrator will be the right fit. As consumers increasingly leverage their HSAs to pay for medical costs today, the key is to uncover whether – and how – a potential administrative partner supports a consumer mindset, in addition to addressing the needs of savers. To find out more, visit the Further Learning Center.

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