Despite the impacts of COVID-19, employees remain positive about their retirement preparedness and managementExcepts from a new study from HSA Bank reveal consumers are engaged in their overall health and wealth. Access the full report here.
The annual HSA Bank Health & Wealth Index provides insight into health and wealth engagement of consumers across the country. Employers can use these findings to tailor health benefits to the needs of their employees, and they can share the Health & Wealth Index Calculator at hsabank.com/indexscore to encourage employee engagement. Educating employees on how to manage their healthcare finances will help them balance decisions and expenses, in their working years and as they prepare for retirement.
Four Levels Of Consumer Behavior
A total of 2,000 U.S. adults were randomly surveyed about health plan enrollment status, health practices, ability to pay for healthcare, and health and wealth confidence. These consumers were scored based on their responses. The maximum score is 44 for health engagement and 56 for wealth engagement, for a total of 100 possible points. Consumers are grouped into four categories based on their score:
- Minimally Engaged (Score Range: 0-39)
Rarely prepare for healthcare expenses, and don’t take an active role in managing their physical health
- Moderately Engaged (Score Range: 40-59)
Participate in roughly half of health and wealth activities that contribute to engagement
- Highly Engaged (Score Range: 60-74)
Participate in most of the behaviors that contribute to health and wealth engagement
- Optimally Engaged (Score Range: 75-100)
Take active steps to maintain or improve their physical health and health-related finances
Average Score of 56.4%
The good news is that with a score of 56.4, consumers are moderately engaged in their health and wealth overall. However, this is a drop from the 2019 results, where consumers reported as highly engaged in their health and wealth with a score of 62.3.
Helping Employees Understand Important Aspects Of Their Health Plan
Decision support tools, such as online calculators, can help employees decide what health plan and healthcare savings program will best enable them to plan and save. This is particularly helpful for younger employees who may not know plan costs. For additional help, employers can offer Advanced Decision Support online at hsabank.com/decisionsupport, where MyHealthMath’s personalized decision-support solutions and Tango Health tool use pre-loaded health plan information to provide employees with personalized plan recommendations.
Consider offering pre-retirement education to employees before they’re eligible for Medicare. Remind employees over 55 about HSA catch-up contributions of an extra $1,000 each year. Additional HSA funds can also be used for medical expenses in retirement, like Medicare premiums.
Helping Employees Confidently Save
Employees may need help saving for future healthcare expenses. An HSA is a great tool for this. Employees can contribute money and use it for IRS-qualified medical expenses, both tax-free. And they can use their HSA to pay for current medical needs or build up savings to cover future medical bills.
As an employer, you can contribute to employees’ HSAs in variety of ways, including a seed contribution (a set amount contributed each year), a match contribution, or contributions as incentives for wellness program participation. For those nearing retirement, consider offering a Retirement Reimbursement Arrangement. This is an employer-funded account designed to help you pay for eligible medical expenses during retirement. Expenses could include most health-related expenses and health coverage premiums.
Tools like the HSA Contribution Calculator found at hsabank.com/contributioncalculator show employees how much they’re eligible to contribute to their HSA based on their insurance plan — and how much to contribute each paycheck to reach the contribution.
Retirees May Need Assistance For Future Healthcare Expenses
Along with housing, healthcare can be one of the greatest expenses in retirement, so it’s important to be prepared.
- 37% of consumers over age 65 report that they rarely save money for future healthcare expenses.
- 83% of those over 65 report worrying about current or future medical bills.
- 64% of all consumers say the primary reason they don’t have health plan coverage is due to cost.
- 76% of baby boomers not enrolled in a health plan cite cost as their primary reason.
Access the full report here.