Majority of consumers unaware of advantages of HSAs

More employees than ever before are enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), but the majority of them (63 percent) do not know the benefits of a health savings account (HSA), according to recent research from Alegeus. In addition, nearly one in three employees feel no better today about managing their health care finances than when they first got health care on their own. The study noted that consumers are assuming more responsibility with their health care finances by enrolling in HDHPs, yet they are unprepared and, in some cases, unwilling to take accountability.

The survey found the following:

• More than 50 percent of consumers fear being hit with a big and unexpected health care expense they cannot afford, and 68 percent of consumers enrolled in health care benefit accounts, such as HSAs, consider themselves to be savers; yet, only 23 percent of consumers save beyond the current year and the majority of consumers underfund their healthcare savings each year.

• Seventy percent of consumers said that they want to take a more active role in their health care overall, but only 50 percent intend to do more diligence this year when making their health care purchase decisions. Forty-three percent of consumers have never visited their health account portal, called the toll-free number, subscribed to receive communications or downloaded the mobile application.

• Thirty-nine percent of consumers enrolled in health care benefit accounts rated their understanding of the offerings as competent, yet only three out of ten HSA account holders can pass a basic proficiency test with 26 percent not knowing they can use HSA funds beyond the immediate plan year and 41 percent not knowing they can invest HSA funds.

“Alegeus’ findings echo what we consistently hear in the market,” said John Young, Consumerdriven CEO. “It’s clear there’s work to be done to bridge the gap between what consumers say they want and what they’re properly equipped and motivated to do.”


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