How To Get Your Employees Excited About Your New HSA Plan

So, your company just rolled out a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with an HSA option. Since HDHPs/HSAs will save your company money, as well as give your employees unparalleled tax benefits, you want to get the word out and get everyone enrolled!

However, even the best idea can be hobbled by poor communication. If you don’t have a plan for how you’ll educate your employees about your new HDHP/HSA plan, chances are you won’t see the enrollment numbers you’d hoped for. Here are a few simple tips to help you provide solid and ongoing HDHP/HSA education that gets your employees excited about enrolling:

1. Choose The Right Messaging (& HSA Provider)

Why should your employees care about HDHPs/HSAs; what’s in it for them? Maybe it’s the opportunity for them to contribute to the best medical savings vehicle on the market. Or maybe it’s the chance to invest HSA funds and build a nest egg to use tax-free for qualified medical expenses in retirement. Think through how you can best position HDHPs/HSAs based on what will resonate with your employees.

Also, make sure your HSA provider is a seamless fit for what you’re communicating. For instance, if you decide to offer your employees HDHPs/HSAs so they can invest HSA funds for future medical expenses, make sure your HSA provider offers first-dollar investing so everyone can participate (HealthSavings offers first-dollar investing on each of our 100+ funds). Then, focus your communication around on the need to save for medical expenses in retirement and how much you could save by investing in an HSA. Also, make sure your employees know they can pay out of pocket for qualified medical expenses, keep their receipts, and reimburse themselves tax-free years down the road once their HSAs have grown (we call it shoeboxing).

2. Take Advantage of Your Open Enrollment Meeting

Often, open enrollment meetings are the only times employees hear about health insurance. While your plan should include more than this, these meetings are a great time to give your employees a high-level introduction about HDHPs/HSAs. Here’s how you can make your open enrollment meeting stand out:

  • • Hold multiple meetings if possible. Give all your employees a chance to attend; don’t let a scheduling conflict make them miss out.
  • • Start with the basics. Don’t assume your employees know anything about HDHPs and HSAs. Be sure to explain HSA’s triple tax benefit and how they don’t have use-it-or-lose-it limits.
  • • Explain how HDHPs work. Often, employees can hear ‘high deductible health plan’ and immediately steer to a safer-sounder traditional plan. Make sure to show examples of medical expenses under traditional plans and HDHPs so your employees can compare costs side-by-side. Also, make sure to mention how HDHPs typically have lower monthly premiums than traditional plans, which often balances out any higher costs for medical services.
  • • Don’t forget the spouses. Your employees aren’t the only ones involved in making healthcare decisions; make sure their spouses understand HDHPs and HSAs as well. Consider providing one-sheeters with HSA basics and FAQs for employees to bring back home with them.

3. Provide Space For Questions

Once you’ve introduced the idea of HDHPs and HSAs to your employees, the next step is making sure they understand the details and giving them a safe space to ask questions. Your goal is to give your employees the time and information they need to make fully-informed decisions. Consider holding small group sessions to give employees an open, relaxed dialogue about HSAs and allow them to ask more detailed questions. If you have an employee who’s passionate under HSAs, consider having that employee help lead one of the discussions. Take as much time as needed to ensure your employees have all the answers they need.

Also, think about you’ll reach new employees who joined your company after these meetings. Consider making HDHP/HSA education a part of new employees’ onboarding program, and don’t forget to include HDHPs/HSAs in each year’s open enrollment meeting (and follow-up small groups). The goal is to never let a lack of information be the reason an employee doesn’t enroll.

HDHPs/HSAs are a wonderful way for your employees to save on current medical expenses, as well as prepare for future medical costs. By deciding on a clear communication path, taking advantage of your open enrollment meetings, and providing room for employees to work through questions, you can help your employees understand and get enthusiastic about their new healthcare option.

If you’re interested in enrolling your group, call us at (888) 354-0697.