Lively’s Second Annual Wellness and Wealth Report Shows COVID-19 Accelerating Concerns Among Americans Over Rising Healthcare Costs

Employees rank healthcare coverage as a key factor when assessing future employment opportunities

2021 Lively Wellness & Wealth Report (Graphic: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Lively, Inc., creators of the modern Health Savings Account (HSA), today released its second annual Wellness & Wealth Report giving a view into American healthcare trends for employers making benefits decisions. The study, conducted by CITE Research on behalf of Lively, paints a grim picture of the state of healthcare as 60 percent of Americans are not prepared to cover a medical emergency this year, 73 percent worry about the long-term healthcare costs, and 46 percent have skipped getting coverage.

The rising cost of healthcare coupled with the financial impact from COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of personalized employer-offered healthcare coverage for employees. More positively, the findings also show that Americans’ understanding of healthcare benefits have increased and are more proactively managing their healthcare costs. With 61 percent of Americans worried about healthcare costs in retirement, employers need to prioritize healthcare coverage and provide opportunities for employees to optimize their health benefits to address long-term healthcare costs.

“Employers must provide a high-quality, comprehensive benefits package to attract talent and stay in business,” says Shobin Uralil, co-founder and COO of Lively. “As employees engage with healthcare benefits more intentionally and look for ways to help offset rising healthcare costs, employers should consider giving employees a variety of plan offerings and savings options like a health savings account (HSA). This will empower employees to invest in their health and reduce their financial risk.”

Key findings of Lively’s 2021 Wellness & Wealth Report show:

#1: Rising medical costs are forcing Americans to evaluate their financial futures.

  • Nearly one-third of Americans are worried about short-term healthcare costs, and overall, Americans expect to spend 40 percent of their retirement savings on healthcare alone.
  • Due to cost, nearly half of all adults surveyed have delayed or skipped medications, and have not followed a doctor’s recommendations over concerns for how much additional care may cost.
  • Only 60 percent have enough money saved for a medical emergency this year.
  • Younger Americans, especially those aged 25-34, expressed that COVID-19 has impacted financial goals this year and long-term.

#2: Americans are showing a greater understanding of healthcare and benefits.

  • The majority understand terms like insurance co-pay (84 percent), insurance deductible (80 percent) and insurance out-of-pocket expense (80 percent).
  • This was an increase from 62% in 2019 (somewhat or completely understood). The increase can likely be attributed to the focus on healthcare from the pandemic.

#3: Healthcare is top-of-mind when planning for future employment: Next to salary, healthcare coverage is the most important benefit offering for employees.

  • Healthcare coverage is a strong factor in employee retention, with 20 percent ranking it as the #1 benefit for staying at a job while 16 percent saying it is the #1 reason for switching jobs (compared to 22 percent and 28 percent for salary, respectively).
  • HSAs are viewed as a key healthcare benefit, equally important for personal finance, healthcare and retirement financial planning and savings.

“Medical expenses are the number one reason Americans go into debt. With increasing financial concerns surfaced from COVID-19, they are more likely to change jobs for healthcare benefits. To keep the best people satisfied in their jobs, employers must renew focus on providing quality health benefits and prioritizing employee wellbeing,” continued Uralil.

For strategies consumers can use to help prepare for future financial success, as well as additional findings from the Wellness & Wealth: Employer Insights Report.

Complete findings of the survey are available upon request.


A survey of 1,000 randomly selected U.S. Americans (ages 18 and older) was conducted in April 2021 to gauge physical and financial health decisions across the U.S. Respondents were asked ten questions about their personal finances and knowledge as they pertain to healthcare, health practices, ability to pay for health- related expenses, and insurance coverage. The survey was commissioned by Lively and executed by CITE Research, and is part one of a series of research about employee wellness and wealth. This is our second annual Wellness and Wealth Report.

About Lively

Lively is the modern HSA experience built for—and by—those seeking stability in the ever-shifting healthcare landscape. By harnessing modern innovation and deep industry expertise, Lively is committed to bridging today's savings with tomorrow's unknowns. Unlike traditional institutions hindered by bureaucracy, Lively's commitment extends beyond initial set up to providing dedicated, ongoing support and education for every step. So each HSA can reach its maximum potential with minimal headache. Lively is headquartered in San Francisco, CA with additional offices in Boise, ID. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@LivelyHSA).


Jennifer Parson



Jennifer Parson