4 Benefits Messages to Send Your Employees in June

Mark Rader Benefits Communication, Financial Guidance

#1. Think about putting more money in your HSA

June is a great time for your employees to take stock of their healthcare costs for roughly the first half of the year—and plan ahead for the second half of the year. Here’s a breakdown you can send to help them save money and have more cash available through December to pay their bills.

1. Add up this year’s out-of-pocket health care costs thus far.
2. Make a new estimate of your upcoming expenses (padding that estimate for unexpected expenses that may pop up!).
3. Add your estimated costs to what you’ve already spent.
4. Compare that total with how much you’ll have in your HSA account at the end of the year as it is now.
5. If there’s a gap, you can increase your contribution rate now to make up the difference. (Remember: your HSA funds will never expire, and they’re yours for life. So if you put in more than you need this year, it’ll be there for you next year.)

#2. Adjust your W-4s

Sure, tax season has come and gone—but there’s one more tax-related message worth sharing right now.

The tax law changes that went into effect at the start of 2018 might have made your employees’ existing W-4s less accurate. If they didn’t update their withholding amount last year, they might have been surprised by a smaller refund, a balance due, or even by a penalty owed…and chances are, they didn’t feel too happy about it. So, if you haven’t already, let your employees know that they can prevent unexpected surprises like this next tax season with a visit to this IRS tax withholding calculator. There, they can estimate their 2019 taxes and get instructions on how to update their W-4 withholdings to try and avoid any surprises next year.

• If they can update their W-4 online, send them the link along with clear step-by-step instructions.
• If they need to fill out a paper form, explain where to find it and how to submit it.

#3. Revisit your company’s budgeting tools (it might help you have a nicer summer vacation)

Summer is around the corner, and your employees are likely starting to think about hitting the beach, road-tripping across the country, or eating their weight in ice cream.

Since having fun costs money, serve up some ideas on how to squirrel away a little extra cash in the weeks and months ahead so they can spring for enough whipped cream and sprinkles to cover their “them”-sized ice cream sundae.

Specifically, share tips for saving money on benefits-related expenses, like encouraging HDHP employees to use sites like Goodrx.com for cheaper prescription costs or visiting urgent care instead of the ER for non-life-threatening sick days. Also consider making employees aware of apps like Acorns, Robinhood, Stash, Digits and Tally, which round up credit or bank card expenses to the next dollar, and automatically deposit the extra money into different types of savings accounts.

#4. Double-check your out-of-network coverage

While you’re on the subject of summer fun, remind your employees to take a quick peek at their health plan’s out-of-network care policies before they head out of town. If they need a doctor (or ice cream headache cure) while they’re away, they’ll know where to go, how to pay, and how to get reimbursed.