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Financial Literacy and Consumer Spending Accounts: A Not-So-Secret Strategy to Offsetting Healthcare Costs  

Financial Literacy and Consumer Spending Accounts: A Not-So-Secret Strategy to Offsetting Healthcare Costs  
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2023 by Keith Soranno

Employees who understand and use their consumer spending accounts are prepared for out-of-pocket health expenses and on course for financial freedom. 

Financial security sets a foundation for success in every other aspect of life. Employees who enjoy breathing room in their budget have a greater quality of life from physical safety and education to healthy diets and personal fulfillment.  

Financial literacy and benefits literacy go hand-in-hand. Those with annual incomes above $100,000 report they understand their benefits 50% more than those earning under $50,000, illuminating the impact stress has on individual health outcomes. 

A unexpected event, like an emergency room visit and an accompanying $2,200 bill, would send 39% of men and 52% of women into panic mode. Why? Well, the majority of Americans (70%) are already living paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling to keep up with inflation and economic uncertainty. 

Health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) are several ways employees can put financial success on autopilot. 

Consumer spending accounts are the antidote to financial stress.  

Consumer accounts allow employees to designate a specific amount of money from each paycheck towards future health expenses. While HSAs, FSAs, and HRAs all come with their own deadlines and eligibilities, each account furthers financial security, virtually guaranteeing employees have funds for out-of-pocket health expenses. 

HSAs give employees retirement confidence with 63% of account-holders saying they have a good idea of how much money they’ll need to afford health care in retirement, compared with just 48% of those without an HSA. 

Also making a difference to wellbeing, 77% of people with an HSA say it gave them peace of mind during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In recent years, employers are offering lifestyle and goal accounts that leverage the same “set it and forget it” approach. These employer-sponsored consumer accounts allow people to pursue any number of respective achievements from higher education to homeownership. 

Consumer spending accounts inspire positive health choices. 

For a nation already putting off their primary physician visits due to cost and confusion, the pandemic and subsequent economic turmoil only increased healthcare avoidance.  

Technology and communications can help ease confusion; however, employees need real tools to find financial security. When people can afford care, staying on top of their health becomes a no-brainer. Having an HSA promotes positive health decisions, increasing the odds employees purchase care products and book health services.  

Taking the impulse out of buying decisions, consumer accounts ensure funds are available for deductibles, prescriptions, procedures, and a variety of eligible items. Employees can breathe easier, knowing that every paycheck is building a safety net for unexpected costs.  

Employers must help employees see the whole picture—financial, physical, and mental health as a single effort. Offering consumer spending accounts adds value for employees and employers, increasing preparedness, decreasing stress, and offsetting healthcare costs.  

For the first time in five years, financial health is backsliding in the U.S. Even groups with historically high levels of financial security are seeing declines in their savings. As employees face a variety of challenges with little disposable income, consumer spending accounts set the stage for a successful healthcare journey without the extra anxiety.  

Want to learn more about benefits literacy? Our annual Benefits Insights Report with 2023 statistics is for you.