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More Education on HSAs Is Not Enough

Posted August 14, 2019


WEX Inc. and Fifth Third Bank Release “More Education on HSAs Is Not Enough” White Paper


Employee benefits administrators know that there are very few circumstances in which a high deductible health plan (HDHP) paired with one or more tax-advantaged spending accounts isn’t the best option for consumers, regardless of carrier and custodian. And though the number of enrollees in both HDHPs and health savings accounts (HSAs) grows each year, there’s still a wide gap between those who are eligible and those who enroll.

In a new white paper that WEX has co-authored and released with Fifth Third Bank, we dare to ask: If HSAs are so great, why don’t more people have them?

Throughout the report, we take on the common assertion that if consumers simply received more education about HSAs, they would begin to understand and maximize their value and to debunk the misconceptions that surround them.

Instead, what we’ve heard from consumers in every study that comes across our news feeds is that they perceive the HDHP with HSA option as being too complex. Add up the regulatory burden, challenges with estimating upcoming healthcare expenses, fear of losing unused contributions at year-end, and wanting to avoid learning (and following) new disciplines, such as saving receipts and checking eligibility of OTC items, and that’s a lot of hurdles to overcome.

We should not be surprised that so many employees stick with what they know at open enrollment time, even though it may not be the best option for them in the long run.

In this paper, we identify the top three hurdles impairing use of HSAs:

    1. Doing the math
    2. Choosing HDHP with HSA
    3. Using the account

Not only do we outline ways to clear these hurdles, but we offer innovative instructions for employers and benefits administrators to get consumers accustomed to, and hooked on, HSAs.

Download the “More Education on HSAs Is Not Enough” white paper here.
(You may also find this white paper on Fifth Third Bank's website using this link.)

And for more insights about how to help Americans pay for healthcare, download WEX’s consumer-directed healthcare report here and participate in our first annual HSA Awareness Day on Oct. 15, 2019.


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