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The Bend Advisor: GPS for Health Savings Accounts

Jul 31, 2019 3:30:00 PM

Anyone who has either had a global positioning system (GPS) from back in the day or a smart phone GPS application today, knows how GPS works. Provide some information, such as your present location and where you want to go, and directions pop up on your screen.

What if your health savings account (HSA) provider could do the same thing, guiding accountholders along the HSA journey to financial health. The Bend HSA does that today with its Bend Advisor.

Help is wanted and needed

How is the Bend Advisor beneficial? While 25 million Americans currently have health savings accounts, many believe them to be complicated and don’t understand basic benefits such as HSA qualified expenses, HSA tax benefits, and other general health savings account rules.

The Bend Advisor, available to all Bend accountholders, uses artificial intelligence and behavioral economics theories, to guide the accountholder along this educational journey. Our solution simplifies the administration of an HSA while ensuring that individuals and employers maximize HSA tax benefits based on their unique needs.

We’re the first to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver a personalized HSA user experience. With about 80% of out of pocket HSA qualified expenses being paid for with after-tax dollars, finding those payments is very important from an education and reimbursement perspective, and tax savings maximization opportunity.

Helpful guidance provided

Bend allows customers to link their personal spending accounts to the HSA, similar to how people link to money management applications like Mint or Expensify, and the Bend Advisor, our AI engine, will help find all healthcare expenses to ensure accountholders are not missing out on tax-saving opportunities. Because HSA qualified expenses are paid pre-tax if paid through the HSA, those healthcare expenses become less expensive.

The AI technology learns individual behaviors and situations, predicts outcomes, interacts with the accountholder, delivering a personalized, custom user experience. The tool learns the accountholders and their healthcare spending so they don’t have to learn the HSA right away. The Bend Advisor also powers our conversational assistant so accountholders can ask HSA-related questions at any time.

We make funding accounts very easy, and also remove the stress of contribution pre-planning. Accountholders can make one-time contributions, or lifts, into their account on-demand. They can also change pre-tax contributions at any time, which is a big deal as our system finds eligible expenses they may have forgotten.

For the employer, the Bend HSA has capabilities to simplify the contribution process by integrating with payroll providers, which means no additional work for you as pre-tax deductions are changed. Even without payroll integration, our system makes it easy to manage the program by doing most of the work and proving easy reports on changes.

Best practices for education followed

Experts recommend several approaches to help employees learn about health savings accounts. The Bend Advisor follows these best practices in the following ways.

Persistence. The Bend Advisor is always there and, if fully utilized by linking other spending accounts to the HSA, it will provide guidance and assistance whenever the accountholder is engaged and, because the accountholder is continuously learning how to maximize the benefits of the HSA, engagement should increase.

Educate and remind. The Bend Advisor helps keep the HSA top of mind and acts as a continuous educational campaign, keeping the HSA relevant whenever it is needed by the accountholder.

In all, the Bend HSA, through its Bend Advisor, provides guidance and education similar to a GPS that provides direction and a roadmap to an effective and beneficial health savings account. The Bend HSA helps accountholders learn about HSA qualified expenses, HSA tax benefits and general health savings account rules.


Learn more about how the Bend HSA is different. 

Download our white paper,  Leveraging Behavioral Economics for Financial Health. 


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