Alegeus Survey: Consumers Primed for HSA Education

People are thinking about their healthcare more than ever, making now the ideal time to fill in knowledge gaps on HSAs, health plans and more

Alegeus, the market leader in consumer-directed healthcare (CDH) solutions, today unveiled the results of its 2020 Consumer Pre-Open Enrollment Survey, which covers consumer preparedness for open enrollment, their knowledge of health savings accounts (HSAs) and the ongoing effects of the pandemic. The survey results indicate both positives and negatives in CDH during a year marked by a global health crisis, with many consumers feeling unprepared for open enrollment (44%) but a majority thinking more about their healthcare than in previous years (60%).

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“We look forward to thoughtful discussions that will ultimately help people make the right coverage, care and savings decisions when they need it most.”

“We knew open enrollment was going to look different this year with the realities of COVID-19,” said Steven Auerbach, Alegeus CEO. “The results of our survey indeed show that consumers don’t feel fully prepared to elect benefits for 2021. However, with a heightened awareness around healthcare, the time is ripe for administrators, brokers and employers to educate, educate, educate. We have a real opportunity here to help people make better, more informed decisions about their care and coverage.”

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Financial preparedness for health issues remains concerning, especially amid a pandemic:

  • Only 55% of survey respondents said they would be financially prepared to cover medical expenses in the event of contracting COVID-19 or another health condition; and
  • Two-thirds of HSA account holders wouldn’t have enough funds in their account to cover an emergency, and another 18% don’t have enough to cover an ER visit or a surprise medical bill, according to data from the Alegeus platform.

The scarcity of healthcare savings is due in part to a lack of knowledge about how accounts like HSAs work. While 81% of survey respondents have some degree of familiarity with HSAs, only 34% are “very familiar.” Additional responses confirm the large gap in true fluency:

  • Only 40% of consumers know the differences among HSAs, flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs);
  • Less than half of consumers understand that HSAs are beneficial for both short- and long-term expenses;
  • 15% of consumers think HSAs benefit the upper class and just 39% think they benefit the middle class; and
  • 53% of consumers would be more likely to delay or avoid care if their high-deductible health plan (HDHP) required them to pay more in out-of-pocket costs.

In pursuit of more widespread understanding of the benefits and cost savings of HSAs, Alegeus is celebrating HSA Month, an expansion of National HSA Day on Oct. 15. Throughout the month of October, Alegeus has committed to sharing tips, data, FAQs and more to help consumers leverage this tax-advantaged benefit account that has the potential to save them up to 30% on medical expenses annually.

“We’ve always been committed to educating consumers on the benefits of HSAs – and helping our client partners do the same,” Auerbach said. “We look forward to thoughtful discussions that will ultimately help people make the right coverage, care and savings decisions when they need it most.”

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