3 Ways to Boost HSA Participation for Millennials

3 Ways to Boost HSA Participation for Millennials

You know that health savings accounts (HSAs) can be a great way for employees to save for retirement health care. You know that your youngest employees - those in the millennial generation - have the most to gain long-term from well funded HSAs. And now you know from Benefitfocus research that the average millennial contributes less than a third of the annual maximum amount allowed to HSAs.

So what do you do about it?

Millennials are notorious multi-taskers with many competing priorities, including the challenge of paying off student loan debt, and HSA contributions may simply not be top-of-mind for many of them. But with the right communication approach, you can bring the value of the HSA to the forefront, at least long enough for them to make a thoughtful decision on their contribution levels. The key is to speak in a language and manner they understand, targeting your communication to the millennial audience through multiple channels with personalized messages that will resonate and drive action.

Here's a look at three different ways to communicate with millennials about HSAs, including examples for each channel:

Email

A tried and true channel for internal communication, email is without a doubt one of the most important benefits engagement tools at your disposal. But as you probably know all too well, inboxes fill up fast, and it's easy for messages to slip through the cracks - especially for multi-tasking millennials. A strong, striking subject line will make all the difference. And once employees open the email up, you'll want to keep their attention with some numbers and/or an interesting question. Then you can lead them into more detail (bullet points are your friend!) and close with a clear call to action (the "now what?").

From there, you can link to your benefits communication hub, where employees can access additional resources, such as videos that provide a quick visual illustration of how HSAs work.

Example:

Subject line: Psst... you may have left HSA money on the table

Hi ____ (insert first name),

Did you know that you could face $200,000 to $400,000 in health care costs after you retire? Big numbers, right?

Good news! With your health savings account (HSA) (insert link to benefits site), you can get a jump on those looming expenses today.

In addition to helping you cover today's medical costs with tax-free money, your HSA offers you a powerful long-term savings solution. Here's why:

  • Unused funds roll over every year
  • Your money can earn tax-free interest
  • Qualifying withdrawals (i.e., for medical expenses) are tax-free

With consistent contributions from you (and from ____ (insert company name, if offering employer contribution)), you could end up with tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to help you take care of yourself in retirement.

To learn more about how to get the most out of your HSA, head over to the benefits portal (link to benefits site), where you can view and/or update your contribution level today!  


Text

According to the Pew Center, nearly 90 percent of millennials own a smartphone, and texting is by far one of the most popular forms of communication for this group, making it a powerful tool for benefits engagement today. Just remember to keep it brief. You don't have to provide a lot of detail. You just want to pique their interest enough to click through to your benefits site, which, if it's mobile-optimized, can give them more information right on their smartphone. 

Examples:

Hi! Before spending your next $25 on that local organic gluten-free corn dog, think about putting it in your HSA. Here's why: (link to benefits site)

Hey there! Could your HSA use a little more love? Find out here: (link to benefits site)  


Tweet

With the option to send messages publicly or privately, Twitter provides a highly accessible way to share short bursts of information with your millennial employees, many of whom use social media as a primary news-gathering source (mostly through their smartphones). But just like with texts, the key here is to "keep it quick and get the click."  

Examples: 

Love your #HSA, and it will love you back! (link to benefits site)

A little more in your #HSA now = a lot more peace of mind later (link to benefits site)


Get more communication tips and tricks as you plan for your next open enrollment. Download our free OE Best Practices white paper today!

Going to SHRM? Come see us at Booth #2525, and let's talk about how to make this year's OE the best yet.