Q&A with Brad Gambill: Medical Debt & Benefits

Brad Gambill is co-founder and CEO of Lane Health, an innovative financial services organization making healthcare more accessible. We recently sat down with Brad to discuss the epidemic of medical debt, what employers can do when it comes to medical benefits and HSA misconceptions.

We’re seeing that more consumers can’t cover their medical bills and aren’t getting the care they need. With that, can you talk about the epidemic of medical debt and what employers and their employees can and should do?

With 100 million Americans currently in medical debt and 61 percent living paycheck to paycheck, it’s clear something needs to change about the way employees pay for healthcare. Too often, healthcare “fixes” — from cost comparison tools to price visibility — assume employees have the funds to pay, but 50 percent of Americans can’t cover an unexpected $500 medical bill. Employees are looking for health benefits that aren’t just band-aids, but help make cost-effective healthcare coverage a reality, and forward-looking employers who can provide innovative solutions will position themselves well in this tight job market.

Employee attraction and retention continues to be a major issue for organizations. What trends are you seeing in terms of employee benefits packages? And more specifically, what can employers do when it comes to medical benefits?

While employers continue to identify expanded benefits to help attract and retain talent, employees still care most about the benefit employers spend the most on — healthcare. Providing unique medical benefits that help make healthcare more affordable and accessible, like the Advance¹ line of credit offered through Lane Health, is a powerful way for employers to bring in new talent and keep current employees engaged. Specifically, the activated Advance¹ line of credit offers employees an on-demand safety net if they face an unplanned medical expense; additional funds are instantly there if needed.
¹Advances issued by WebBank

What are the biggest misconceptions you’ve seen when it comes to HSAs? Additionally, can you talk about Medicare and HSAs?

Two HSA facts that often go overlooked: 1 in 5 HSAs has a $0 balance, and over half of HSA account holders haven’t made any contributions in the last 12 months. As mentioned, this could be because employees don’t have the money to fund their HSAs, or they might no longer be eligible to make HSA contributions. An easy way to expand the pool of HSA account holders is to allow Medicare enrollees the ability to continue contributing to their accounts — these seniors will likely face significant healthcare costs, and we shouldn’t hinder their ability to save for them.