Employers battle high healthcare costs by finding ways to reduce expenses and by achieving significant returns on the investments they ultimately make. With benefits being such an important factor in employee retention, return on investment is often the most critical. One method of increasing utilization and realizing a greater return on the employer investment in certain types of benefits is to rebrand them.
Four commonly underutilized benefits that can be boosted by rebranding are employee assistance programs, health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, and dependent care accounts.
Most health plans contain some variation of the traditional EAP. For years, they were considered by many as support tools only for those struggling with substance abuse issues. As such, they fell prey to underutilization if only to avoid associated stigma.
Millions of Americans deal with stress, depression, and anxiety, and modern EAP programs are usually a great option for accessing help. Some EAPs help secure legal representation or find caregivers for dependents.
Instead of relying on long-form insurance documentation, rebrand the EAP internally. Keep the description of benefits short and easy to understand, avoiding confusion that often results from industry jargon. List the most commonly needed and used services first to help capture the attention of employees who may not realize all the ways an EAP can be used.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Employees may know how HSAs offer tax savings provisions on eligible healthcare products and services. But, according to the 2023 Midyear Devenir HSA Report, only 7% of eligible account holders are investing a portion of their balance.
Many employers are rebranding their HSA plans as “healthcare now, retirement later.” While ensuring that the current tax benefits and eligible healthcare expenses are addressed in promotional/educational materials, they also place significant emphasis on how HSAs offer tax-free investment opportunities that can substantially boost retirement savings.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
Like HSAs, FSA funds pay for eligible healthcare products and services. But while unused HSA balances roll over from year to year, participants can only spend FSA funds on current healthcare expenses. As a result, American workers forfeit an estimated $4+ billion in unused FSA balances each year. An employee who has forfeited a significant amount is understandably less likely to enroll in an FSA in the future.
Employers can help workers lessen the risk of losing unspent funds by offering optional Carryover or Grace Period provisions. In addition, they can alter spending messages as the year progresses. For example, over the first half of the year, employee communications may focus on eligible expense reminders. However, during the last half of the year, communications change to focus on spending down funds before time runs out. It’s often helpful to focus during this period on eligible expenses that FSA account holders often aren’t aware of, such as massage guns, prescription sunglasses, humidifiers, medical travel, and more.
When people think of dependents, many think only of children. After all, the service that most people use their DCFSA for is commonly called childcare! However, DCFSA funds can be used for any tax dependent of any age that needs care or supervision while the employee is at work.
Consider rebranding DCFSAs internally as “care for dependent loved ones” including both children and seniors. That may encourage employees who may not otherwise have considered these accounts.
What’s the best way to rebrand?
The benefits discussed here are highly regulated and contain acronyms and jargon that often confuse participants. Check with your benefits administration provider regarding the availability of promotional and educational materials that can help rebrand benefits internally (within regulatory limits) to achieve increased utilization.
DataPath, Inc. has been a full-service benefits administration technology and growth solutions provider for nearly four decades. The company offers the cloud-based Summit all-in-one platform for CDH, HSA, Well-Being, COBRA, and Billing administration, comprehensive Operations BPO for users of any technology system, and award-winning Marketing Services for the benefits industry. Enter your address at the upper right to receive notification when future blog articles are published.