Health savings accounts, also known as an HSAs, are becoming increasingly more common and mainstream since the plan’s inception in 2003. Enrollment has reached nearly 15.5 million, growing by almost 15 percent since last year and more than tripling in the past six years. As more and more employers begin to pair HSA plans alongside their traditional HMO and PPO plan offerings, it’s essential to remember communication is the key to understanding.
When we, at Assurance, help our clients roll out an HSA plan, we try and use a healthy mix of articles, emails, videos, posters, etc. When we present on them, we go about it in a way that we hope offers each employee that “ah ha moment” that’s necessary to maximize their HSA efficiently and effectively. We understand the jump from a traditional health plan to a not so traditional HSA plan can be confusing. Here are some key ways we try to visually add clarity to this sometimes perplexing plan…
While we believe whole-heartedly that savings can be had by many who enroll in an HSA, this kind of plan is definitely not for everybody. Using stories can often times help employees feel less scared of making the possible switch as they find a hypothetical buddy in the story experiencing the same dilemma – think age, coverage tier and type/frequency of care. This enables them to decide if the plan is right for them based on the stories presented before they actually enroll.
Understanding that the cost of care can vary tremendously amongst providers is essential. Grasping this piece of information, especially, will help employees build the connection that, “if different providers can charge me different costs for the same services, then I better start being a bit more choosy about who I seek services from.” The majority of our medical carriers offer price estimator tools that drive home this point for employees – they just need to know where to find them. Spending time on these tools and creating scenarios that are relatable will help.
Explain it to your employees like this: “Let’s say you have an MRI. Based on where you seek treatment for your MRI, will drastically change the cost you’re responsible for. By going to an in-network free standing imaging center, you could pay upwards of 60% less than choosing a hospital.” You can guarantee that people’s ears will perk up. This is how the evolution of consumerism begins. Hearing something that resonates can begin to change behaviors.
Seeing is believing.
Employees need to have the light bulb turned on. Doing that isn’t always so easy though. Understanding what the plan covers and what the employee’s share is, can feel a little bit like a complicated math story problem. Taking the time to write out examples of YOUR specific plan’s coverages, and showing employees exactly how it works, and what their responsibility is along the way, will make all the difference in the world.
We’re not saying that rolling out an HSA plan will be easy. We’re saying that we can help along the way and offer a myriad of tools and resources to help your employees be more successful when they enroll! For additional information, please get in touch with your Employee Benefits broker to learn more today!