As employers throughout the country are encouraged to move towards lower premium, higher deductible coverage models for their employees’ health plans, many are making the switch to consumer-directed plans paired with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). As the name implies, consumer-directed accounts place healthcare decisions directly into the hands of consumers, giving individuals the power of choice when determining which services and providers they want to use.
Choice for Consumers
HSAs, which mirror individual retirement accounts (IRAs) but are reserved specifically for out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision expenses, are also powerful vehicles for giving your employees more healthcare choices. Unlike a flexible spending account, the HSA is owned by the employee and is not impacted by the IRS’s “Use or Lose” provisions. This means employees do not need to forfeit unused funds at the end of the year or if they terminate employment. Because HSAs function similar to IRAs, employees have several different choices when it comes to how they use their accumulated funds.
- Spend ‘em: Consumers with a tight financial situation or multiple unexpected medical expenses may choose to use the funds in their HSA frequently, relieving the burden of medical costs now instead of saving for the future.
- Save ‘em: Consumers with less frequent expenses, or those who have the ability to pay for health costs out-of-pocket, may choose to utilize the HSA as a savings tool, allowing the funds to earn interest and grow over time.
- Invest ‘em: Chance-taking consumers interested in growing their HSA balance even further can invest their account dollars into a variety of mutual fund options, much like consumers do with their 401(k) dollars.
However your employees choose to use their HSA funds, they will enjoy the flexibility that comes with being in control of their own healthcare funds.
Choice for Employers
Just as employees appreciate the choice that accompanies consumer-directed health benefits, employers value having options when it comes to offering those benefits to their workforce. When choosing an administrator for your HSA, here are a few considerations to keep in mind:
- Experience: Choosing an administrator with experience in the HSA arena will result in a more positive experience for both you and your employees. Discovery Benefits has been administering HSAs for more than 10 years and is experiencing continuous growth. We recently moved from #20 to #15 on Devenir’s HSA assets list and have also been ranked on Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing private companies in America for three consecutive years.
- Ease of transition: Whether you previously offered an FSA and want to switch to a consumer-directed option or you simply plan to add more benefits by allowing employees to enroll in both a limited FSA and an HSA, you want an administrator who will make this change seamless. That’s why Discovery Benefits has streamlined the process and offers one card and one platform for all benefits.
- Security: You need an administrator who will protect your employees’ investments. Discovery Benefits’ HSAs are FDIC-insured, so you can rest assured that your employees’ funds are safe and in good hands.
- Added features: Knowing how important choice is to your employees, you may want to seek out an HSA provider that can offer your employees the most decision-making power. Discovery Benefits’ HSA product offers transparency and telemedicine options, which allow your employees to shop around for their care and choose the most convenient service option. We also offer a consumer Claims Sync feature that lets HSA accountholders easily sync claims from most insurance carriers with their online account to manage expenses all in one place.
- Integration: Look for an administrator who is fully integrated with your enrollment platform to ensure a smooth and successful enrollment process. Discovery Benefits and Benefitfocus are integration partners, which means your enrollment information will flow from the Benefitfocus Platform to Discovery Benefits’ system with ease, making the entire process more streamlined for your human resources team.
Once you’ve made the choice to offer an HSA as part of your benefits package, the rest is easy. For an administrator you can trust and an enrollment platform that will make your job easier, choose Discovery Benefits and Benefitfocus.