Employers with a calendar year benefit plan year should begin preparing for annual enrollment starting now.
We are experiencing a period of rapid cost inflation and expect renewed, higher levels of health care cost inflation to soon follow. This comes as a large segment of Americans are already financially fragile – unprepared for regular household expenses, let alone out-of-pocket medical expenses. End-of-year health plan renewals may include significant increases in the cost of coverage (premiums, contributions) and/or higher point of purchase cost sharing (increased deductibles, copayments, out of pocket expense maximums).
Preparing for annual enrollment “now” means you have time to reconsider passive enrollment. Employers who offer a choice of coverage options may be able to improve plan member engagement by replacing a passive enrollment approach with an active enrollment strategy.
To counter inflationary trends, it is recommended that plan sponsors focus on helping participants build savings rather than purchase more costly insurance. One of the best strategies is to leverage Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) as part of a ’health and wealth’ rewards strategy and optimize both savings and financial preparedness.
Capable of quadruple duty, HSAs cover out-of-pocket medical costs in current and future years, Medicare premiums, retirement income and survivor benefits. HSA monies, including employer contributions, are always “vested,” never forfeited. HSA contributions receive more favorable tax treatment than contributions to a 401k. And, unlike a Health FSA, HSA monies are invested and accrue earnings tax-deferred. Participants receive HSA monies tax free when used to pay eligible health care expenses.
As your partner, aequum is here to help lower costs, achieve savings and support your plan’s member experience and success in 2022 and beyond. Please contact us if you have any questions or need for support. For more information, visit https://aequumhealth.com.