HSA Headlines - 5/3/19 - Short-term fixes for long-term HSA success

The long-term retirement potential of HSAs receives a lot of attention in the benefits world. While HSAs are a model for long-term retirement stability, too few companies are providing a helping hand for employees to start making smart decisions with their HSAs in the here and now.

This week, we'll examine a new approach to long-term finances that starts with short-term stability, and the impact that online reviews are having on how medical professionals find new patients. Without further ado, here's what should be on the radar for HSA users this week.

Short-term financial stability is key for enabling longer-term benefits: report - Marlene Satter, BenefitsPro

HSAs are fantastic financial vehicles for your long-term financial security, but when you factor in that you must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) to contribute to one, that could be a significant financial commitment for those who have sizable health care expenses.

A new report from the Aspen Institute details just how pivotal having short-term financial security can be in taking advantage of long-term benefits, and could provide an instructive lesson for those who are considering an HSA.

The report detailed four strategies for individuals to grow assets and stay engaged in the actions they're taking to protect their financial futures: routinely positive cash flow, liquid savings, access to high-quality credit and strong social networks.

In short, having one or more of these positive savings strategies can dramatically improve your long-term savings potential, and allow you to be better positioned to navigate deductible expenses and regular yearly contributions that come with HSAs.

70% of patients call online reviews crucial in selecting healthcare providers - Christopher Cheney, Health Leaders Media

Shopping around for the best price for health care is one of the key benefits of an HSA, but when it comes to picking a new doctor, America seems to be in full agreement regardless of health coverage: go online first.

A new survey conducted by PatientPop of 800 patients found that more than 70% will research a doctor's online reviews before making an appointment, which illustrates just how important these rankings are for medical professionals. And nearly 70% considered an online reputation to be "somewhat or very important," while those practices who responded directly to negative criticisms doubled patient satisfaction.

And finally, the largest group of online researchers was the 30-44 cohort (85.8%), of which 65% sought out individual reviews of medical professionals and practices. Millennials lead the way again! While it has been slower than other industries, surveys like this show the degree with which health care is becoming increasingly more digital, and information that was traditionally word of mouth is crowd-sourced and readily available.

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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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