HSAs: What About the Fees?

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media , July 18, 2014

Admittedly, it's not high among your critical decisions in adapting to a changing business model in healthcare, but such concerns are part of the transition and their importance will only grow as consumer-driven healthcare emerges. As leaders who experience healthcare transactions, both as a provider of benefits and as a service provider, you're uniquely positioned to make a difference in how this increasingly important source of payment for healthcare is regulated.

You should do your part to make sure that your organization is being as transparent as possible with the employees you ask to use these accounts to pay for first-dollar coverage of their healthcare. And even if you are being transparent, make sure your HR folks are shopping around. These fees are being charged because it's what the early market will bear.

As HSA administration becomes more mainstream, the hope is that lower-cost options will hit the marketplace. But don't expect it to be quick. 401(k) fees have stayed high for many years, and with employees still not able to understand disclosures well, they'll continue to drain an outsized portion of money intended to fund retirement for the majority of Americans for years to come. As with 401(k), employers make the decision on an HSA administrator.

Increasingly, your employees will be watching.

Philip Betbeze is senior leadership editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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