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New Survey Finds Educating Employees on Health Benefits Biggest Challenge for Nearly Half of American Employers

Bend, Oct 6, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Results also indicate the need for better benefits education on the employer end, with more than half not knowing that employees need an HDHP to be eligible for an HSA

Despite 93% of employers finding it important to be part of their employees’ long-term financial wellness through the health and retirement plans they offer, only half currently offer a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) option paired with an employer-sponsored health savings account (HSA) program.

In a recent survey commissioned by next-generation HSA provider Bend Financial (Bend), 1,000 benefits decision makers at American employers ranging from two to 5,000-plus employees were asked to describe their feelings about being part of their employees’ overall financial wellness, provide their thoughts on benefits vendors and test their current base of knowledge surrounding HSAs.

Nearly half cited educating employees as their biggest challenge when using benefits vendors. Unsurprisingly, only one-third rate their current employee benefit communications as ‘excellent.’ And confusion seems to especially loom around HSAs, with 56% not knowing an employee needs an HDHP to be eligible for an HSA and 50% not being aware an HSA stays with an employee even after they lose their job or insurance coverage.

According to Bend Financial Cofounder and CEO Tom Torre, the results further confirm benefits education is an issue not only impacting employees, but also employers. “Oftentimes, employers are equally confused on certain benefits like HSAs and HDHPs,” he said. “This confusion and lack of clarity trickles down to employees, and can result in less-than-optimized choices and missed opportunities to save money and achieve better overall financial wellness—both for employees and employers.”

Despite continued confusion surrounding HSAs, three-quarters of employers would still be likely to offer an HDHP option with an employer-sponsored HSA program if employees requested it.

“Unfortunately, many employers are still somewhat in the dark when it comes to all the advantages of offering an HDHP option with an employer-sponsored HSA program,” Torre added. “But clearly even those employers are still open-minded—they simply need support from the right vendor partners to educate them and their employees on all the ways the HDHP/HSA combination can benefit both sides. Now more than ever, employees and employers alike need to understand how they can leverage the most savvy benefit choices to make their money work smarter for them.”


  1. Cost (48%)
  2. User experience (44%)
  3. How well their tech works for/integrates with company systems/processes and other benefits already in place (40%)
  4. How well their tech works for employees (35%)



  1. Educating employees (47%)
  2. Educating HR/internal staff (35%)
  3. Enrollment (35%)
  4. Initial integrations (29%)



  1. Didn’t know an employee needs an HDHP to be eligible for an HSA (56%)
  2. Weren’t aware an HSA stays with an employee even after they lose their job or insurance coverage (50%)
  3. Didn’t know HSAs can include investment options and be beneficial in saving for retirement (43%)


Employer challenges faced in educating employees on health benefit inforgraphic

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About Bend Financial

Bend Financial helps accountholders and partners improve their financial wellness through a next-generation health savings account (HSA) platform and complementary financial solutions, while providing employers, brokers, health plans and financial institutions of all types and sizes unique, leading-edge benefit offerings. Headquartered in Boston, Bend’s forward-thinking, user-friendly approach simplifies healthcare saving and offers real-time, personalized guidance that makes it easy for anyone to maximize their HSA. For more information, visit, read Bend’s blog and follow Bend on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Zac Otzelberger
(715) 630-8688

About Bend Financial

Bend Financial is a Boston-based technology and services company that provides health savings account and financial wellness solutions to individuals, employers and organizations in the group benefits distribution market. Its innovative approach and product offerings simplify the use of HSAs while making the product attractive to all types of healthcare consumers.

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