BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fidelity Investments® recorded a 48 percent increase in the number of health savings accounts (HSA) opened in 2013 as more and more companies offer the tax-advantaged accounts together with high-deductible health plans (HDHP). Fidelity now administers HSAs for 269,000 account holders at more than 100 companies, with assets increasing 39 percent to $653 million from $471 million the year prior1.
“Fidelity continues to drive adoption of its health savings account business as companies and their employees realize their potential advantages both today and over the long haul,” said Will Applegate, vice president, Fidelity Investments. “We believe one of the best ways for people to prepare for the escalating costs of health care in retirement is, if eligible, open a health savings account, as young as possible, to make the most of possible long-term investment gains and tax-advantaged growth.”
There were 10.7 million HSAs in the United States at the end of 2013, an increase of 30 percent over the prior year2. Tax-advantaged opportunities for near- and longer-term qualified medical expenses plus the ability to carry-over balances year to year are factors that help drive account holder growth. For companies, offering a HDHP with an HSA could help them avoid the looming “Cadillac Tax” in 2018, a fee on high value health coverage in excess of a financial threshold.
Marathon Oil Exceeds Adoption Expectations with Innovative Education Campaign
Last year Marathon Oil Corporation, an energy company based in Houston, offered its employees and pre-65 retirees an HDHP option with a Fidelity HSA®, plus a competitive company contribution. To help educate its employees on the value of the offering, Marathon Oil implemented a 5-month communications campaign entitled “Get REAL.” In addition to more traditional campaign elements such as print materials, workshops, videos and staff meetings, it also included a Benefits Expo at the headquarters in Houston and Health Plan Modeler, an interactive tool created by Fidelity Benefits Consulting to help employees compare the two health plan options under different usage scenarios.
Employee response to the campaign exceeded expectations. Three quarters of eligible employees attended workshops, two thirds attended the Expo, and 40 percent used Health Plan Modeler. The result was a 51 percent adoption of the new plan option, much higher than Fidelity traditionally sees for first-year HSA clients3.
“Marathon Oil offers competitive employee benefits, and an HDHP with an HSA is a smart economic decision for the company and its employees,” said Kim Moore, Benefits Manager, Health and Welfare, Marathon Oil Corporation. “We knew we had to actively educate our workforce on the advantages of an HSA, so we worked closely with Fidelity to create an effective education campaign. It helped reinforce several key concepts, including the value of the Marathon Oil contribution, employees’ ability to make their own tax-advantaged contributions, and the flexibility to use the savings today or invest them for health care expenses in retirement.”
HSA Guidance Ready to Help Account Holders
Fidelity has specially-trained telephone representatives to help HSA account holders with contribution decisions and if necessary, provide information about Fidelity’s investment products. Access to Fidelity HSA information is also integrated within NetBenefits®, Fidelity’s award-winning4 workplace benefits hub. Since NetBenefits participants are familiar with its ease of use for workplace retirement plans, HSAs make a natural addition to the website.
NetBenefits is part of Fidelity’s Plan for Life workplace guidance experience. It provides education on retirement benefits and HSAs, including an HSA landing page complete with helpful presentations, webinars, a video and information about BillPay for Health Savings Accounts. Fidelity also offers HSA support through Fidelity.com Viewpoints, and during on-site education days where offered.
“For many employees and even human resource professionals, HSAs are confusing, but they don’t have to be,” said Applegate. “We are always designing engaging and compelling ways to teach people about the many benefits these accounts deliver today, and in the future.”
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $4.7 trillion, including managed assets of $2.0 trillion, as of March 31, 2014. Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.
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Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC
900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917
Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Company, Inc.
500 Salem St., Smithfield, RI 02917
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1 As of February 28, 2014.
2 Devenir “Health Savings Accounts Exceed $20 Billion in January,” February 12, 2014.
3 Results per Marathon Oil.
4 kasina 2014 Top Websites for Defined Contribution Plan Participants; 15 record keepers were evaluated December 2013 to January 2014 based on proprietary methodology including detailed criteria for availability, quality, and user scenarios.