To get an idea of what’s in store for an employee unprepared for a high-deductible health plan, one need look no further than the mortgage meltdown a few years ago. Attracted by low payments, homeowners weren’t prepared for the ensuing interest rate changes and ultimately faced foreclosures. Similarly, high-deductible plans have temptingly low premiums, but are only designed to cover catastrophic claims, leaving consumers responsible for more commonplace medical needs, like annual exams.

Enter the HSA. Consumers need to understand the importance of opening and funding a health savings account. There are several ways to prepare clients for an HSA. First, explain the trade-offs of high- and low-deductible plans. Second, explain what the HSA offers in conjunction with the high-deductible plan. Third, make sure the HSA allows online deposits from a checking or savings account. And finally, help clients plan in advance for a large claim through critical illness coverage and accident benefits.

 

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