‘Learning’ Objectives: What’s holding HSAs back?

A decade and a half after their introduction, education challenges are still limiting opportunities for HSA account holders

The legislation that created health savings accounts (HSAs) may be more than 16 years old, but many still regard these vehicles as a new, untested innovation. And while the option isn’t exactly new for plan sponsors and workers, a recent survey confirmed that only 11% of employees and 7% of employers surveyed could correctly identify four basic attributes of HSAs.1

Little wonder that 60% of employers who responded to the Plan Sponsor Council of America’s inaugural survey on HSA design and use said that employee education was their dominant concern about this important account.

 

Key findings

  • Relatively few employers offer HSA-capable health options — and many that do position those offerings as less valuable than PPO or HMO coverage options.
  • Competitive labor markets give HSAs the potential to be a valuable component of employers’ benefit offerings.
  • Better education is necessary for both plan sponsors and employees to appreciate the value HSAs can provide.

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