EMPLOYEE BENEFIT VIEWS
An excerpt from our Employee Bene t Views blog, written by Eric Brewer, senior bene ts consultant at Corporate Synergies, an employee bene ts brokerage and consultancy.
How to explain HSAs to employees who don’t understand them
High-deductible health plans with health savings accounts are becoming more popular as bene ts consumerism increases throughout the country. Enrolling your employees in HDHPs is one way to educate them on the true cost of healthcare. And if they use an HSA correctly, it can help them better manage their healthcare costs, and yours.
But understanding how an HDHP works and ensuring your employees will get the most out of an HSA can be tricky. In fact, a recent survey by employee communication software company Jellyvision found that half of employees don’t understand their insurance bene ts. And choosing a bene ts plan is stressful for employees because it’s a decision that will impact them for a long time. is is further complicated by the trend to- ward rising employee contributions and the issue of escalating healthcare costs. Employees are taking on more cost share — and that means plan sponsors have a greater responsibility to do a better job of educating them to make the best decision at open enrollment.
HSAs bene t the employee in a number of ways:
• Just like a retirement plan, HSAs can be funded with pre-tax money.
• Employees can choose how much they want to contribute each pay period and it’s automatically deducted. • Employers can contribute funds to an HSA until the limit is met. ese are important facts to tell employees. But there’s more to it than that. Here are some tips on how to best explain HSAs to your workforce.
Help employees understand they’re in control. High-deductible plans with an HSA might seem intimidating, but they put employees rmly in control of their healthcare. is is increasingly important in today’s insurance landscape. When employees choose an HSA, healthcare becomes more transparent. ey can shop around for services and nd the best deal for services before they make a decision.
Resist insurance speak. As an HR professional, you may not realize how much bene ts jargon you use every day. After all, you deal with bene ts all the time, so using industry terms is second nature. But jargon is confusing to employees. One tip is to spell out acronyms on the rst reference. Second, simplify the explanation by shortening sentences.