Healthcare costs are on the rise with no end in sight, and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are one of the best ways for both employers and employees to save for those costs and future needs. The good news? People are catching on. Today, HSAs account for $66 billion in assets, a 23% increase year-over-year.

But while usage is up, HSA engagement still isn’t where it should be. According to the third annual HSA Bank Health & Wealth Index, 42% of employees didn’t know if their healthcare plan was HSA-eligible, and 56% of employers say HSA education is their primary concern.  

In a panel conversation, Jellyvision CEO Amanda Lannert and HSA Bank President Chad Wilkins discuss:

  • Why HSAs are a critical tool to contain healthcare costs
  • How HSA Bank and Jellyvision are paving the way for the future of HSAs
  • Why this is the right time for employers to address wasteful healthcare spending 
Host

Taylor Clausen

Bio

Taylor Clausen

Taylor Clausen is the VP of Strategic Alliances for Jellyvision. Over the past year, he’s helped to forge a partnership between Jellyvision and HSA Bank to launch ALEX HSA, a new suite of health savings accounts aimed at reducing health care costs for employers and employees.

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Panelists

Amanda Lannert

Bio

Amanda Lannert

Amanda Lannert is the CEO of Jellyvision, the makers of ALEX, a leading benefits and savings guidance platform. More than 1,500 companies (including 20% of the Fortune 500) use ALEX to help their employees understand complex topics, from choosing a healthcare insurance plan to saving for retirement.

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Chad Wilkins

Bio

Chad Wilkins

Chad Wilkins serves as an Executive Vice President of Webster Bank and President of HSA Bank, where he is responsible for leading the organization and its people toward sustainable growth well into the future.Chad joined HSA Bank in 2014, bringing with him more than 25 years of experience in the banking and health insurance industries.

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We have a healthcare problem

Employers are overspending on healthcare by billions every year:

Over

$1.2 trillion

spent by employers on healthcare every year

A total

$300 billion

of healthcare spending is wasted every year

And employees can’t keep up either. Healthcare costs are rising twice as fast as average wages, with no end in sight. For the average family, there’s been a:

55%

increase in healthcare premiums since 2010

27%

increase in take-home wages since 2010

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these trends: employees are more concerned than ever about their finances, and claims costs are expected to rise by 8% this year when employees finally deal with all the health issues they’ve been putting off because of the pandemic. 

Healthcare spending is on an unsustainable trajectory. Left unaddressed, these rising costs mean dire consequences for both employers and employees alike.

Why is there so much waste in healthcare spending?

Of course, we can chalk up some wasted spending to systemic issues—like fee-for-service models, government regulations, and outdated processes.

But it’s also the result of benefits confusion. Employees are making uninformed benefits choices, and it’s costing them and their employers:

“Anywhere between 30-50% of employees are making the wrong plan choices…and it’s costing their employers more than $1,700 per year per employee.”

— Chad Wilkins, President, HSA Bank

Health savings accounts are one of the best ways to rein in healthcare spending. For employees:

  • HSAs offer a triple tax savings: money goes in tax-free, grows tax-free, and comes out tax-free
  • HSA dollars can be invested for future medical expenses or retirement
  • HSA contributions roll over to the next year, so there’s no scramble to spend in December

And for employers, HSA contributions aren’t subject to payroll taxes—so the more your employees save, the more money you’ll put back in your company’s pocket. 

The catch? HSA usage and engagement still aren’t where they should be, in large part because of the perceived complexity of HSAs:

“If you ask an average employee if they’re aware that HSAs have a triple tax savings, many are going to say, ‘Hm, I didn’t know that.’”

— Chad Wilkins, President, HSA Bank

Only

30%

of employees who could be saving in an HSA actually do so

Only

15%

of employees regularly save for healthcare expenses

Only

4%

of employees are investing their health savings accounts

So how can HR teams help their employees fully understand and engage with their HSAs?

  • Do the math. Help your employees understand what they’re getting with each plan, and how much they should be saving. 
  • Focus on outcomes, not definitions. Answer: “What can an HSA do for me?” instead of “What is an HSA?”
  • Write like a human. Cut the jargon.
  • Engage frequently, at moments of high intent. Once a year during open enrollment isn’t enough. 
  • Personalize your recommendations. A one-size fits-all benefits portal won’t work anymore. 

Yes, it’s a tall order. And even the most well-intentioned employers have too much on their plates to keep up with the demand:


“Employers’ jobs keep getting harder and harder. In some respects, employers are becoming providers. Some of our customers now offer between 200 – 400 point solutions that help employees better manage costs or improve the quality of care. 

On top of that, HR teams have to figure out a way to communicate virtually, offer personalized recommendations, increase awareness of what’s available, and make sure employees are using their benefits to their fullest potential. The complexity of HR jobs was really brought to bear in COVID-19, but it’s been mounting over the last 20 years.”

— Amanda Lannert, CEO, Jellyvision


That’s why we created ALEX HSA

This year, Jellyvision and HSA Bank teamed up to create ALEX HSA, a new type of health savings account that empowers employees to make smart healthcare and savings choices year-round.

ALEX HSA pairs HSA Bank’s world-class suite of account solutions with Jellyvision’s benefits education expertise. The first of its kind, ALEX HSA leverages behavioral science principles and personalized, one-on-one guidance through an interactive experience to help employees fully understand and optimize their HSAs—turning them into better healthcare consumers and saving hundreds of thousands of dollars for themselves and their employers.

“How do we use that moment of inflection when people are checking balances or checking the status of a claim to really engage them?”

— Amanda Lannert, CEO, Jellyvision

The best part? Year-round, personalized HSA engagement at scale is proven to work. ALEX users:

save

36% more

in their HSAs than the national average

drive

$79 million

in payroll tax savings for their employers

contribute

$734 million

total to their HSAs every year

Find out how ALEX HSA can help you drive down healthcare costs this year.

Learn more

Employers, this is your moment

Healthcare costs were on the rise, global pandemic or not. COVID-19 has only accelerated employers’ need to curb those costs, and to become a financial advisor to employees

If there’s any silver lining to 2020, it’s that there’s never been a better time to make it happen. This moment is an opportunity to encourage positive behavior change, drive better financial outcomes, and use HSAs as a tool to do so—because your employees are listening for perhaps the first time ever:

59%

of employees are paying closer attention to their benefits this year

“When there’s change afoot, employees are that much more likely to pay attention. So the silver lining of chaos and change is opportunity to make a positive impact. And that’s what we’re going to be working on in 2021.”

— Amanda Lannert, CEO, Jellyvision

So employers, now’s the time for you to lean in, too. Reassess what’s working and what’s not. If your benefits are no longer serving you, now is the time to shake up the status quo and consider a new vendor. If your education materials are sub-par, now’s the time to fix it. If you’re spending too much on healthcare, ask yourself why. 

This moment is about setting higher expectations: for how employers support their employees, how benefits vendors support their clients, and how we can all work together to reduce billions in wasted healthcare spending every year.

Watch Amanda and Chad’s full conversation: