by WEX Benefits
HSA Day 2020 has come and gone, but the tips and insight shared won’t soon be forgotten. We invited Americans to say “Hello to HSAs” on October 15, and they did just that.
A health savings account (HSA) is made to benefit Americans at any stage of their life; it’s a conversation we kicked off last year on the inaugural Health Savings Account Awareness Day that continued in earnest this year.
Joined once more by financial literacy guru Jean Chatzky and WEX Chairman and CEO Melissa Smith, we also welcomed three influencer partners and a panel of healthcare consumers to our all-virtual event. Here are seven of the most important moments from HSA Day 2020:
“A quarter of people are now contributing more to their HSAs due to COVID-19.”
Jean shared this staggering stat and another — that 41 percent of people appreciate their benefits more now than they did before the pandemic — to help set the stage for why HSAs are more relevant and helpful today than ever before.
“Things have changed, especially because of COVID.”
During Jean’s Zoom panel with consumers, she spoke with 28-year-old Eddie Medellin, whom she interviewed on HSA Day last year. Eddie’s employer makes annual contributions to his HSA. Though Eddie has had an HSA for six years, he began using his benefits debit card differently this year — for the first time, purchasing qualified medical expenses online. “Things have changed, especially because of COVID,” he said. “My grocery run has now shifted down to maybe once a month. Things that I need in between that I need to order online now, whether it be on Amazon or My-HealthShopper, where you can buy and see HSA-approved items.”
“We have not one, but two HSAs: one for now and one for later.”
Titi Tran, age 46, has two HSAs. They’ve had her now-retired husband’s account open for more than 15 years, and she opened hers when she went back to work two years ago, after her kids had grown. Today, they use her husband’s HSA to save and hers to pay for short-term expenses. Titi told Jean, “We’ve planned to use [my husband’s HSA] for our retirement. With my account, we have contributed a shorter amount of time, and so it doesn't have as much money. We use it on a more day-to-day basis to cover medical expenses and prescriptions, eye exams, and dental expenses.”
“You can get explosive growth by investing your HSA dollars.”
A large percentage of people who have an HSA don’t invest the money in their account, or even know that it’s possible. Panelist Scot Waterman, 54, is an exception. Since opening his account more than 10 years ago, he’s been maxing it out as a savings and investment account. “I’ve found over the years that you can get explosive growth as long as you’re consistent [with investing your HSA], and you have a long-time horizon with that money,” he said.
“The steps you’re taking now to survive this crisis will help you weather future crises.”
Speaker, investor, former “Bachelorette” contestant and current Restart founder Jason Tartick joined the HSA Day broadcast to share how the accounts can help Americans during future health and economic crises: “We’ve already seen some signs of recovery and glimpses of hope for a future post-COVID,” he said. “Now the question is: What can we do in the meantime? The good news is the steps you’re taking now to survive this crisis will likely help you in the long run to be better able to weather future crises. You are already taking your future into your hands by wanting to learn more about healthcare benefits — specifically, HSAs — and how you can benefit further from them.”
“I wish I knew then that understanding my benefits options could impact my health!”
Lissette Calveiro, a digital strategist, content creator, business coach, and lifestyle influencer, is a new recruit to the world of HSAs. “I was once guilty of logging onto my employer’s HR portal and making selections without too much thought or research,” she said. “I’ve learned this is not uncommon. More than three-quarters of employees — of all ages — spend less than an hour evaluating their healthcare options during open enrollment. But the facts are there: Understanding these terms and their meanings is beneficial to your health.” Lissette also shared that 49 percent of employees who understand their benefits consider themselves physically, financially, and emotionally healthy. Only 15 percent of employees who don’t understand their benefits can say the same.
“We need to empower Americans to understand which benefits are most valuable for them.”
WEX CEO Melissa Smith closed the HSA Day broadcast with this message: “Financial literacy is something I’m deeply passionate about, and the pandemic has brought it to the forefront like never before as Americans look for ways to improve their resilience during both health and financial crises. … Our research tells us that Americans are most likely to seek advice about their healthcare benefits from their friends and family. So I feel confident that by empowering even just one American today with the information they need, others will in turn also be empowered to make better decisions.”
Want to learn more about HSAs? We’ve got you covered: Check out LoveMyHSA.com, our HSA FAQ, HSA fact sheet and a handy savings calculator. The Health Trends & Insights blog is also a wealth of information on HSAs.