Alegeus Research Reveals Consumers Focus on Short-Term Perks Over Long-Term Healthcare Savings
Published on February 6th, 2020
Waltham, MA — February 06, 2020 — Alegeus, the market leader in consumer-directed healthcare (CDH) solutions, today unveiled new consumer research on the employer benefits Americans desire most. The study, based on responses from 1,000 U.S. healthcare consumers, revealed that although consumers claim to value their health over all else, if given the choice, many would opt for short-term perks instead of employer contributions to a healthcare benefit account, such as a health savings account (HSA), health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), or flexible spending account (FSA).
When presented with a number of standard and less common employee benefits, 50 percent of consumers stated that health/dental insurance was the most important consideration when securing employment. Given that other benefits such as ample vacation time (9%) and flexible work hours/work-from-home opportunities (8%) were considered significantly less of a priority, the data would at first suggest that most consumers prioritize health. However, when given a choice between employer contributions to a healthcare benefit account or other short-term workplace perks, a startling percentage of consumers indicated a preference for the latter:
- 15% would prefer an on-site smoothie bar
- 25% would prefer daily free lunch
- 42% would prefer a flexible work schedule
- 49% would prefer an extra week of vacation
When broken down by age, the statistics were even more jarring for younger generations:
- 40% of consumers age 18-24 would prefer daily free lunch
- 67% of consumers age 18-24 would prefer a flexible work schedule
- 52% of consumers age 18-24, 58% of those age 25-34, and 54% of those age 35-44 would prefer an extra week of vacation
While many consumers are familiar with retirement savings accounts such as a 401K, healthcare benefit accounts can provide other valuable (and often better) ways to save money. With an HSA, for example, consumers can contribute pre-tax earnings to be set aside for eligible expenses, many of which may not be fully covered under traditional health plans. Further, an HSA includes greater tax benefits than a traditional 401K, with research showing that money invested in an HSA could be worth up to 40% more by retirement.
“Recent figures show that the average 65-year-old couple will need at least $285,000 to cover healthcare and medical expenses in retirement,” said Steven Auerbach, CEO of Alegeus. “So while it’s encouraging to see consumers understand the need for health insurance, we also want to spread awareness of the importance of enrolling in tax-advantaged accounts like HSAs to maximize the value of every healthcare dollar spent or saved.”
To see an infographic on these findings, click here.
Alegeus is the market leader in consumer-directed healthcare solutions, offering an industry-leading benefits platform, benefit debit card and mobile app that are transforming the way people navigate the U.S. healthcare system. Our next-generation technology simplifies the administration of healthcare benefit accounts (including FSAs, HSAs, HRAs, wellness incentive, dependent care and commuter accounts), and uses data-driven insights to guide consumers to the right coverage, care and savings strategies. More than 350 Alegeus clients – including health insurance plans and third-party administrators – leverage our deep expertise and proven technology to administer benefit accounts for more than 30 million members and to process more than $9.1 billion in consumer healthcare payments annually. As the healthcare and benefit markets continue to evolve, Alegeus delivers solutions that enable clients to evolve their service offerings, operate their businesses more efficiently, and lead consumers to better health and financial decisions. The company is headquartered in Waltham, MA with operations in Orlando, FL and Milwaukee, WI.