BOULDER, CO, July 26, 2006 – Myfinancialadvice, Inc. today announced the results of a new survey that reveals an eightfold increase in adoption of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) when consumers have access to expert financial advice. The survey identifies the confusion and fear that surrounds HSA decision making, and suggests that employees’ understanding of HSAs and their ability to make sound adoption decisions increased substantially after receiving a consultation by a financial planner.
Myfinancialadvice completed the nationwide survey of 123 Certified Financial Planner™ professionals with the cooperation of Certified Financial Planner Board Of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board).
Survey respondents who offer HSA consultation indicated that approximately 88% of their clients who adopted HSAs would not have done so without financial advice. Similarly, surveyed advisors believe on average that more than 60% of corporate employees will require help in evaluating HSAs as a healthcare option when offered in the workplace.
According to Ron Peremel, CEO of Myfinanacialadvice, these figures are consistent with input from corporate sponsors and other studies, noting that a substantial proportion of HR managers expect HSAs and other consumer-directed health plans to cause confusion for employees and believe that financial planning is important to the success of these plans.1 “Financial planners may be in the best position to realize the magnitude of this need because they work directly with clients who must make essential decisions about their family’s health and wealth issues,” Peremel said.
Other key findings from the survey reveal that of the CFP® professionals that advise clients on HSAs:
o 94% rated their clients’ understanding of HSAs as being confused and unable to make sound HSA adoption decisions prior to receiving a financial consultation.
o 89% indicated that their clients’ ability to make sound HSA decisions increased significantly upon receiving a financial consultation
The survey respondents cited what they perceive to be the top five obstacles to employee adoption of HSAs:
o General confusion surrounding HSAs: 73%
o Fear of High Deductible Plans: 69%
o Fear of change: 49%
o Ability to fund HSA: 34%
o Difficulty understanding savings feature: 33%