HSA Headlines - 6/28/18 - Are you getting the most from your benefits?

Nearly 3 in 10 employees are covered by a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with an HSA, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Not bad, but those numbers could certainly improve. The problem lies in understanding how to best use these accounts. The market is still relatively young, and it can be difficult to figure out your options.

In this week's HSA Headlines, let's take a look at two articles that discuss getting the most out of your benefits… and why many people might be missing some opportunities to do just that.

The problem with health savings accounts - Taylor Tepper, Bankrate

We won't lie - this first headline bothered us. After all, we post articles every weekday pointing out why HSAs are great tools for saving and spending.

But, after reading, we realize the author wasn't to trash HSAs, but rather to point out how people aren't using them as well as they could. Across the country, the personal savings rate is declining, middle-income Americans aren't prospering, and half of working households are at risk of having lower standards of living when they retire.

In other words, the author believes people don't have the money necessary to make meaningful contributions to their savings. While we don't necessarily agree this is the only way to benefit from an HSA, we welcome discussion from all sides, and encourage you to read and decide for yourself.

Maybe a better way to get employees more active in building their HSAs is by educating them about all their possible benefit options, as highlighted in this next piece.

One surefire way to engage employees in voluntary benefits - Rob Grubka, Employee Benefit News

A good way to plan ahead for the unexpected is with voluntary benefits like critical illness or accident insurance. While these benefits might seem like a "that will never happen to me," waste of money, you can save yourself a lot of money if something were to happen.

Right now, many employees are missing out on these extra benefits. Some don't fully understand the potential of these voluntary extras, while others don't find it necessary to have a "just in case" safety net.

This is why we believe in HSAs -- tax-free funds to use or save, in case these unlikely circumstances actually become reality.

HSA Headlines is a weekly roundup of the latest, most relevant news and conversations about your health savings. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the HSA Learning Center. And for more about your physical and financial well-being, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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