“Consumers shouldn’t have to struggle to sort out how much to put into their health savings account (HSA) account, where to get the best value for their health dollars or how to save for your health care retirement needs. The Smart HSA can help guide consumers through this process with all the complexities behind the scene,” says Steve Auerbach, Alegeus CEO.
At the Alegeus Client Conference in Palm Springs, California, the “Smart HSA” was presented by Auerbach and Brian Colburn, SVP, Corporate Development & Strategy. It is the next generation of the existing Alegeus WealthCare mobile product.
This was the first opportunity for industry stakeholders to see a detailed demonstration of the new mobile-first Smart HSA app that Auerbach says will disrupt the health care marketplace by delivering an intuitive, personalized, and self-guided account experience. He says it will transform consumer health care funding.
The Smart HSA is a multi-phased initiative that features machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver to participants an intuitive, personalized, and self-guided account experience.
It will guide employers to work with their insurers to create smart plan designs and empower employees to make the smart benefit choices during open enrollment—getting the most value from their HSA accounts throughout the plan year.
Human resources firm Mercer, states that 72% of large employers will offer a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) in 2019, compared with 20% just a decade earlier. Health benefit accounts, particularly HSAs, have seen a huge increase in both adoption and account contributions.
But despite this growth the market has many challenges to overcome that include a knowledge gap. Consumer fluency in key health care and financial concepts are low. Empower Retirement research has found that even terms frequently used in the retirement account industry simply don’t make sense to savers.
At the same time, many employers struggle to communicate effectively about HSAs. DC plan participants miss the opportunity to accumulate savings for health care needs in retirement, not simply because they do not want to invest, but because they do not know that they can use an HSA to invest. As a result, participants are often unequipped to decide which plans and accounts are right for them, and they also lack the knowledge and tools needed to use their plans effectively.
Capabilities of the Smart HSA app as seen at the demonstration include:
- Data-driven tools that guide consumers to make intelligent choices on where to best spend and save their health care dollars
- AI-based recommendations that result in better future outcomes based on historical spending (e.g. “you might have paid too much for this service”)
- A virtual medicine cabinet for managing monthly drug costs
- Long-term savings recommendations based on health care spend habits (e.g. “you have a chronic condition which will require you to have X dollars saved for retirement”)
- Intelligent prompts throughout the app to optimize the member experience for existing self-service functions (e.g. “It looks like you need to provide a receipt for your latest debit card swipe”)
- Year-end recommendations about funding and account enrollment based on the past year of health and wealth activity (e.g. “It looks like you didn’t hit your deductible and also didn’t max out your HSA. Next year, we would recommend the following funding levels”)
Auerbach says it’s critical for our nation to provide an affordable health care solution and it’s currently on a downward spiral. “Benefits continue to choke businesses as the costs continue to rise. The ability to provide an affordable and engaging health experience is paramount and that’s our mission.”
The product will be rolled out in the first quarter.
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