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Employee Communication Timeline: HSAs

Health savings accounts (HSAs) offer employees a convenient option for paying for their health care expenses. Rolling out an HSA can be difficult for employers, though, and utilization may remain low if employees do not fully understand the benefits of this type of savings account.

The timeline below lists steps that employers can take in the HSA implementation process, as well as resources from The DeHayes Group that may be helpful.

Week 1—Preparation Phase

  • Check with your HSA vendor to see if minimum participation by employees is required.
  • Identify an HSA trainer that will be responsible for educating employees about HSAs. This person should be personable and have strong communication skills. The trainer should present HSA information to HR and senior leadership.
  • The HSA Introduction Presentation can be used to introduce an HSA to your workforce.

Week 2—Announcement Phase

  • Have senior leadership communicate to employees about the new health savings option. Send out an HSA Announcement Letter to inform employees that the company will soon be offering this benefit.
  • Brainstorm with company leaders, HR, and payroll on the best ways to promote HSAs to your employees.
  • Determine employee groups based on the following characteristics so you can best tailor your communication efforts.
    • Group 1—Single, young people that are in good health and do not have any dependents. These individuals’ medical expenses tend to be below.
    • Group 2—Made up of married couples with or without children, or people with poor health histories. When it comes to health coverage, these individuals fear a medical catastrophe turning into a financial one.
    • Group 3—Individuals with a higher income that is more financially stable and less concerned on a day-to-day basis about health costs. Instead, these individuals are looking to maximize their retirement investments.

Week 3 and 4—Education Phase

Use email announcements, posters, and employee education pieces to teach employees about HSA features. Consider using the following educational resources from The DeHayes Group:

  • Understanding a Health Savings Account
  • Invest in your Future: HSAs
  • Frequently Asked Questions about HSA Plan Usage
  • 10 Reasons to Love a Health Savings Account

Weeks 5 and 6—Employee Buy-in Phase

The method of communication will vary based on your employees and company size. For instance, for smaller companies, one-on-one meetings may be an effective way to introduce HSAs and answer any employee questions. However, for mid-to-large-sized companies, meeting individually may not be feasible and department or company-wide presentations or webinars may be more effective.

The following is a list of benefits that you can emphasize when promoting HSAs based on the employee groups identified above.

  • HSAs save employees money (Groups 1 and 2).
  • HSAs are a tax saver (all groups, especially 3).
  • HSAs allow for an improved retirement account (Groups 2 and 3).
  • HSAs are portable (Groups 1 and 3).

Week 7 and 8—Open Enrollment Period

After educating employees about this new opportunity, set an enrollment deadline. Make sure this deadline is clearly communicated and identify a contact person that employees can turn to with their questions. The Health Benefits Election Form: HSA can be used to streamline the enrollment process.

Monthly (After Open Enrollment)

After rolling out this benefit, it is important to regularly educate employees on how they can optimize their HSAs. The following is a list of resources you can provide employees throughout the year:

  • HSA Eligible Expense Examples
  • HSA Ineligible Expenses     
  • Frequently Asked Questions about HSA Plan Usage
  • HSA Examples
  • 5 Tips to Maximize Your HSA

For more information on setting up an HSA or to access the resources mentioned above, contact The DeHayes Group today.