2 Minute Answers
Two Minute Answers
Two Minute Answers is a 5 week email campaign sent to employers during open enrollment. Employers receive an email each Tuesday featuring a new HSA video and topic. You can then share the email with your employees as they’re making decisions about benefits during open enrollment season. It’s a great way to ensure they’ll have the information they need to plan ahead. Sharing this information with your employees can make a big difference for them — and for your company, too.
The 5 Stages of Health Saving and Spending
Most people go through a 5 stage journey as they save and pay for health care. Recognizing and assisting your employees as they transition through these stages can lead to better decisions and greater financial well being.
DECIDE: GO/NO GO FOR HSA.
At the first stage, employees are asking themselves: “Should I open an HSA?” and “Do I have a qualifying High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)?” During the decision-making process, employees want to know how an HSA works and how it can help them with their health care needs, along with its benefits. They may be attending employee benefits meetings, reading brochures or chatting with colleagues or friends to get more information.
During this time, some employees will feel anticipation and enthusiasm for a tool that can help them better manage their health care finances. Others will be confused or even intimidated by all the information they’re receiving. Some will even be skeptical and resistant.
- What are my contribution options?
- How much will my employer contribute?
- Will I end up paying more for my health care than last year?
- What is the right decision for me?
OPEN: GET ACCOUNT UP AND RUNNING.
During the second stage, eligible employees want to open their accounts and complete the HSA setup, ideally in a single encounter and with minimal thought and effort. They should begin to forecast their health care spending for the year and calculate their contribution to the HSA based on their cost and saving plans during the enrollment process. Employees may not use their account until they have had a health care event, such as filling a prescription or visiting the doctor’s office.
At this stage, some employees may feel uncertain and anxious about their new HSAs and the enrollment process. Others may consider the new processes as “just paperwork” and feel little to no anxiety about enrolling.
- What do I do the first time I have a doctor’s visit?
- How do I use my Health Savings Account Debit MasterCard®?
- Who do I call with questions?
- What is my deductible?
- What is my out-of-pocket maximum?
- How much do I need to save?
MANAGE: KEEP UP-TO-DATE WITH ACCOUNT RESPONSIBILITIES.
At this point, account holders are performing routine maintenance, such as reviewing monthly statements, reconciling accounts and tracking cash inflow and outflow, in addition to transferring pertinent information to tax forms or sharing the information with their accountants. They may also be making changes to accounts in terms of settings, product type or amount of payroll deduction.
Some account holders may feel confident and empowered to take advantage of their HSAs. Others will feel burdened with how to use it properly and fear they are overlooking an important function of the account.
- What is my balance?
- How much can I reimburse myself and for how long can I go back in time?
- When reimbursing myself, how does this get reported to the IRS?
- Am I allowed to change my payroll deduction mid-year?
- Can I keep my account if I switch jobs?
OPTIMIZE: TURNING THEIR HSA INTO AN INVESTMENT.
For this stage, account holders are trying to get the most value out of their accounts by investing wisely.
This is accomplished by setting up investment accounts, deciding how much to invest, selecting funds and monitoring returns. An employee may, for example, transfer a certain amount from an HSA into a mutual fund or transfer funds between their HSA cash and investment accounts to rebalance the portfolio as the market changes.
Some employees will be confident and proactively invest in mutual funds for the longer term, while others may be intimidated by investing.
- How can I use my HSA to improve my long-term financial health?
- How much money will I need in retirement to pay for my health care?
- How much can I invest?
- Do I pay taxes on invested growth?
- Are there penalties for withdrawal?