Health Spending Accounts in Every Day Words

As an employer, you want to ensure your employees understand and get the most benefit of all the compensation elements you provide them in your Total Compensation Package. It starts with salary, and pension opportunities, but also includes health benefits, flexible work spaces and time off. A Health Spending Account (HSA) benefit is just one part of the overall engagement strategy for your employee. It isn’t always an easy topic to communicate your overall benefits to your employees at various stages of their tenure at your company. Below is a strategy to tailor your HSA benefit dialogue to your employees wherever they are in their tenure and health path.

What is an HSA?

First, a quick definition of what an HSA is no matter what stage your career or health path is at. An HSA provides a non-taxable alternative or supplementation to a traditional benefits plan. HSA eligible expenses are vast, ranging from dental, vision, professional services, & hospital bills. HSA’s are a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) approved method to provide medical, dental, and vision benefits in a tax efficient manner.  There are over 150 different CRA-approved expenses an individual can use their HSAs on. As such, an HSA offers perhaps the greatest level of flexibility for employees in their total compensation package from their employer. This allows individuals to use their HSAs in the individualized manner that makes best sense for their situation. HSAs represent a single employment benefit label with a litany of solutions inside the confines of this one-size-fits-all package.

Subgroups of the HSA User

Broad communications about HSAs are ineffective so instead of describing the multiple uses and features of an HSA. So, it is easier to describe subgroups or personas of people that use HSAs. Below, The HSA Group describes some key life-stages of HSA users including the freshmen, the budgeter and the nurturer. Most people fit into at least one of these three subgroups and will use their HSAs on expenses that meet these personae specific needs:

HSA User 1: The Freshman

The freshman is relatively new to managing their benefits and would like to learn how to get the most out of their HSA. They are younger – both in years and in career tenure – and do not have heavy prescription expenses nor need to visit doctor/hospital often. The freshman is typically more physically active than their older counterparts. As they are earlier in their career, their wage is entry-level or slightly higher. They are generally healthy and active so thoughts of health-related expenses don’t resonate often. With that said, they also do not have a deep knowledge of all the various expenses available to them and their HSA benefit.

HSA User 2: The Budgeter

The budgeter uses their HSA to pay for day-to-day medical expenses. Every dollar that stays in their pocket matters. Many have a young family so their HSA is used to cover not just their own health expenses but their entire family. Many have spouses who may or may not also have health benefits so HSAs regularly get used to cover the non-covered portions of their spousal benefits avoiding any out-of-pocket expenses for the entire household. They are interested to learn and understand the ways their HSA can stretch their dollar further in the moment and at tax time. In addition, the budgeter wants to know if there are less known expenses they can use their HSA on (such as approved vitamins, cold medications, or even sunscreen).

HSA User 3: The Nurturer

The nurturer uses their HSA to pay for regular medical expenses. They are further along in their career and are older than most individuals we have identified as the freshman or the budgeter. The nurturer likes that they can save time and money with heir HSA because it’s flexible enough for all their family’s needs. HSAs are perfect for the nurturer as it allows them to save money now and in the future. HSAs allow them to pay their family’s medical expenses tax-free. Knowing they have big down-the-road healthcare expenses such as braces for their teen or glasses for the entire family, they want to know how they can supplement their employer-provided HSA with their own dollars. Similar to the budgeter, they want to save on expenses now and at tax time.

Tailoring your employees’ specific needs and goals based on the personas above will greatly assist you as an employer to communicate to each employee uniquely in order to help them get the most out of their HSA. By educating them to get the most of their HSA, it adds to their overall employee satisfaction and work engagement. Through tailored education to your employees about the many dozens of HSA expense solutions, you can maximize HSA adoption and support your employees in creating happy, healthy futures. Looking for an easy, comprehensive HSA offering for your employees? Learn more about HSA Group’s best-in-class health and wellness solution by contacting us today.