Offering a qualifying high deductible health plan compatible with a health savings account (HSA) offers many benefits to your employees. But there’s a process to making the most of the health account. It starts with deciding to open an HSA and progresses with contributions and investing in mutual funds * for the long term. The Optum proprietary 5 Stages of Health Saving and Spending Journey Model identifies five stages a consumer may go through with their HSA based on consumer research:
What’s the biggest barrier to moving forward in the HSA journey?
It’s a lack of knowledge and understanding about how the HSA works. Despite an HR department’s best efforts, employees are largely unaware of the tax benefits or ability to invest in mutual funds. Without this knowledge, it’s nearly impossible to move across the five stages to “optimize” an HSA.
Where are your employees in this journey and how can you further their knowledge?
If you’re a retailer with primarily hourly employees, they’re likely in Stage 1 and 2 and just getting started with their HSA. You can move them along in their HSA journey by helping them understand what an HSA is, how it works and educating them on how the account can save money through pre-tax dollars (if your employer offers payroll deduction.)
Employees who have had an HSA longer and understand it better may be in Stages 3, 4 and 5. They’ll benefit most from knowing how to use their HSA for day-to-day expenses; adopting an investment strategy; and understanding that they can use their account as a retirement vehicle.
By analyzing an employers’ employee population and determining what stage they are in, Optum helps employers develop engagement programs and relevant messaging to help employees move along the 5 stages. With this information, you can help employees make the most of their HSAs so they’re prepared for health care needs now and into retirement.
To learn more, please visit: Optum financial management.