Buck Bond Group

Why a Health Savings Account Portal May Not be the Right Hub for You

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After just finishing up a fantastic IHC Forum West conference in Las Vegas, I was thinking about the many discussions on the Health Savings Account (HSA) and its portal as the ultimate hub of health care consumerism. Some employers actively promote the HSA portal as a key part of their overall benefits delivery strategy and I agree that this is the right approach for their employees. However, let me provide a contrarian view that I believe may be a better fit for many other employers. There are at least three potential hubs that could serve employers and employees alike in a better fashion than an HSA portal, depending on the employer’s overall strategy. 

Your Health Plan Portal

If we focus primarily on health care, your health plan portal may be the perfect hub for your employees. For example, your health plan likely has the best transparency tools for treatment costs since your health plan has the most accurate cost information based on provider contracts and plan designs. The portal should enable health plan partners to display real-time HSA account balances and transactions on their portal, as well as single sign-on links to the HSA portal for a seamless experience. Health plan partners also include links to the best tools, calculators and educational materials, while hiding any tools that would conflict with what the health plan already has in place. We can also enable employees to click on a claim on the health plan portal and choose to pay the claim from the HSA, without ever leaving the health plan site. 

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Your Employer Portal

Perhaps you have spent significant time, effort and resources to create an employer portal that focuses more broadly on areas like health, wealth and career. You view this as your employees’ hub and there is no reason to direct your employees away from it. Why not include links to your favorite HSA/consumerism tools, calculators and educational materials right on your portal? You choose what tools your employees can access based on your overall portal strategy. Add deep single sign-on links to point members directly to specific features of the HSA portal. You can pull in real-time HSA account information onto your portal as well. 

Your Private Exchange Portal

If you take advantage of a private exchange today or are considering one for the future, the private exchange portal may be the right hub for you and your employees. The best private exchanges are not solely focused on the open enrollment experience, but rather are motivated to provide tools, education and constantly changing content to encourage employees to come back frequently. For example, RightOpt®, our own private exchange offering, has that goal in mind. Ideally this kind of portal should include real-time HSA balances and YTD contributions, plus messaging tailored specifically to each employee. It should also include deep single sign-on links to point members directly to specific features of the HSA portal, as well as links to HSA/consumerism tools, calculators and educational materials. 

Think about your strategy and determine your best hub. Once you decide, the key is to select an HSA administrator that seamlessly integrates with that hub today and can easily shift gears if plans change in the future.