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Sun, Sand, and Savings: 3 Expert Tips to Make the Most of Your HSA and FSA This Summer

Sun, Sand, and Savings: 3 Expert Tips to Make the Most of Your HSA and FSA This Summer
Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 by Keith Soranno

Flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA) decrease financial stress while ensuring essential medical costs are in the budget. Employees must understand how and when to use these dollars—or risk throwing money down the drain.

Just like a squirrel prepares for the winter, spending accounts allow employees to build up savings with every paycheck. Unlike a squirrel however, all the hard work happens only once—typically during annual enrollment.  

For the rest of the year, employees have peace of mind that money is being set aside for health expenses. This “set it and forget it” approach is fantastic for financial security but may mean these savings are out of sight and out of mind when it matters most. 

Since we’re nearly half-way through 2023, it’s a perfect opportunity to nudge employees about these timely financial decisions.  

Stock up on summer supplies with FSA funds.

Unlike other consumer-directed spending accounts, FSA dollars expire at the end of the year. Many organizations may offer rollovers or claim extensions, but employees that miss this deadline lose out on their own savings. This is not an ideal outcome for anyone, especially HR teams looking to drive value and engagement in their benefits programs. 

Therefore, now’s the time encourage employees to book their dental checkup and refill their medicine cabinets. The FSA store is full of health essentials people are probably already shopping for, like skincare products, sunscreen, pre- and post-pregnancy supplies, and over-the-counter treatments.  

There are lots of surprising items on the eligibility list. FSA dollars can prepare employees for all their epic summer adventures and ease those satisfyingly sore muscles the next day. 

Stress-free shopping on the HSA and FSA store: 

Save (or invest) for a rainy day with HSA funds.  

Health savings account dollars don’t expire. Another perk: HSA funds can be invested to grow wealth over time.  

Healthcare costs continue to rise, and our own Benefits Insights data shows only 10% of respondents feel prepared to take on a large medical expense. That’s why many employees are looking to their employers for guidance as financial stress ticks higher and higher. 

Though we’d like to think large health costs are limited to just the “unexpected,” like an emergency room visit or urgent surgery, the reality is that expected costs, like braces or home health equipment, have a high price tag, too. 

If employees understand their health savings accounts, including how to invest funds and request reimbursement, they can breathe easy knowing panic-level medical costs are covered. 

Employees need spending simplicity for their HSA and FSA dollars.

HSAs and FSAs are a big part of financial wellness strategy, providing a safety net to pay for health care costs big and small. That is, if employees remember money is available in those stressful moments and can conveniently request reimbursement. 

Technology helps keep options top of mind for employees: 

  • A fully integrated online portal gives people a single place for all their benefits needs. 
  • Personalized communications decrease the clutter in the benefits experience.
  • AI-powered decision support means smart health decisions are a breeze. 

The latest in HR tech is limitless, allowing benefits administrators to give each member personalized assistance 24 hours a day—without overcomplicating the experience.  

Simplicity is key to engagement, especially when it comes to benefits and health spending. Employees have one life, one paycheck, and one “wallet.” HR pros that take a holistic approach will drive greater value in all their benefits programs, meeting employees in the middle. 

Our MyChoice® Accounts solution brings all things consumer accounts right where employees want and expect them to be—inside their benefits portal. One system for one wallet.  

The IRS continues to try to match pace with rising inflation, and the recent IRS increase in annual HSA limits means that employees over age 55 can now contribute more than $10,000 a year (if both spouses use the catch-up contribution). Overall, the contributions rates went up more than 7% for both single contributors and families. Employees can put more money aside pre-tax to cover all those unexpected (or planned) health expenses. For example, the average HSA created in 2005 now has accumulated more than $50,000, according to data from Devenir. That can go a long way toward estimated retirement costs of medical care, which are now estimated at upwards of $300,000 for a couple retiring in 2022. 

As limits shift to better support people’s health needs in this uncertain economy, make sure to keep employees informed and consider pointing them towards the HSA and FSA Store to make the most of their hard-earned dollars. 

Eliminate account confusion with enrollment, claims, and reimbursements together on a single online platform and mobile app.