Account-Based Health Plans on the Rise, But Gap in Employee Education Still Exists

July 9, 2014

If you do not fully understand your health plan, Health Savings Account (HSA), or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) you're not alone. Data from more than 1,500 employers and consumers reveals that while account-based health plans continue to make traction in the market, thre is still a consumer education gap and a need for enhanced consumer healthcare decision-support.

Account-Based Health Plans on the Rise

According to a recent study by Alegeus Technology:


Gap in Employee Education Still Exists

Despite the rise of account-based health plans, there is a gap in employee comprehension about how the benefit programs work. For example, 70% of HSA account holders failed an HSA proficiency quiz. According to the study:

  • 23% of consumers say they fully understand the difference between common health plan coverage types (HDHP, PPO, HMO)

  • 30% of HSA account holders passed a basic HSA proficiency quiz

  • 50% of FSA account holders passed a basic FSA proficiency quiz


According to the study, the value proposition of an HSA may not be fully understood:

  • 42% view HSAs primarily as a health spending account

  • 26% don't know you can use HSA funds beyond the immediate plan year

  • 41% don't know that HSA funds can be invested

What Employers Can Do to Bridge the Gap

To help employees understand their health benefits better, the study suggests that employers should:

  • Communicate year-round about health benefits, not just during open enrollment

  • Provide easy to understand and personable communications, provided in a variety of channels

  • Offer plan comparison and interactive recommendation tools

Source: Alegeus Technologies 

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