by WEX Benefits
Last week we were excited to finally be able to announce the new awareness initiative that WEX’s Health division has had in the works: National HSA Awareness Day. To take place each year on October 15, HSA Day will emphasize the power of health savings accounts (HSAs) to impact some of the most prevalent issues Americans face today, such as managing out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, preparing for unexpected healthcare costs and planning for retirement. With HSA Day, WEX hopes to help Americans understand the many ways that an HSA can be used to save money using pre-tax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses.
We also announced our partnership with Jean Chatzky, who will serve as a 2019 educational ambassador for HSA Day. Chatzky is the founder and CEO of HerMoney, as well as a renowned financial expert and best-selling author. Leading up to HSA Awareness Day, she will help us and our Partners share the benefits and value of owning and using an HSA.
We purposely designated October 15 as HSA Day as it is just ahead of open enrollment season for most employer benefits plans. HSAs will be top of mind for consumers as they make important and impactful decisions during the enrollment process. And in an industry made unnecessarily complex by jargon and dogged by consumers’ long-held misconceptions about their health benefits, the idea is to dispel some of the common misunderstandings about HSAs.
For example, in our recent consumer research report, “Paying for Healthcare in America,” we found that:
- 30 percent of consumer-directed healthcare plan (CDHP) enrollees believe HSAs are “use-it-or-lose-it” accounts. (They’re not.)
- Many consumers think of an HSA as a healthcare spending account only, not as a savings account for the future. (Other consumers—though aware of the potential to use an HSA as a retirement planning tool—spend down their account balances every year out of necessity, with aspirations to become investors at some point.)
- Many people say HSAs and FSAs are “not for someone like me.” Two distinct counter-comparisons came through during interviews and focus groups: the indestructible (“Those accounts are for older, sicker people”) group and the timid (“Those accounts are for smarter, richer or more organized people”) group.
We plan to help our Partners prepare for and leverage HSA Awareness Day through a series of WEX SPARK virtual and in-person events. And on October 15, Chatzky and WEX’s Health division will co-host a live-streamed discussion covering off best practices for building financial preparedness for unexpected healthcare costs and debunking myths and misconceptions about HSAs.
“I am thrilled to team up with WEX’s Health division on this educational mission,” says Chatzky. “The larger goal is to encourage people to ask questions, engage in dialogue with their employers or providers, and make smart healthcare benefits choices that will not only save them money, but also set them up for success should something unexpected happen at any stage of life.”
We invite you to join in on October 15 this year, and every year, to grow and empower this significant awareness mission and ultimately help more Americans benefit from the advantages HSAs provide.
For more information, visit www.HSAday.com, and follow along on social media by tracking #LoveMyHSA.