A new study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) revealed only 6.4% of people with health savings accounts (HSAs) invested their contributions in the financial markets while the remainder left their money in savings accounts that typically earn a lower return. Given how rapidly these plans are spreading -- the number of large employers (500 or more employees) offering an HSA-eligible consumer directed health plan jumped from 32% to 41% in 2014 -- the EBRI study signals a need for further evaluation and education by employers to help participants maximize the benefits of an HSA. You’ll want to determine what roadblocks discourage your plan participants from investing their HSA contributions -- for example, fees and minimum balances -- and address those accordingly. Also, the upcoming open enrollment season is a great time to reeducate employees about their investment options and explain the process to liquidate the funds to pay for medical expenses, if needed.
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