Bank of America adds digital HSA tool

Bank of America wants to make it easier for employees to access their HSA account information.

The investment bank, which provides HSAs to 900,000 workers through 4,200 employers, released a new digital platform in April for employees to access their accounts.

“HSAs can be used to fund qualified healthcare expenses in retirement, which is why it is so important for individuals to start saving and growing balances now,” Lorna Sabbia, head of retirement and personal wealth solutions at Bank of America, says in a statement.

Bank of America branch
Pedestrians stand in front of a Bank of America Corp. branch in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Sunday, July 9, 2017. Bank Of America Corp. is scheduled to release earnings figures on July 18. Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg

The tool will give employees access to an online learning hub with content and calculators geared toward helping them manage their HSA investments. In addition, the company’s new mobile app has a barcode reader that allows workers to scan medical expenses and validate if they are covered by an HSA. The company also added increased fraud monitoring, upped its HSA interest rates and expanded investment opportunities.

See also: Are HSAs the answer to millennial retirement savings?

“As healthcare costs persist as one of the greatest financial concerns facing both individuals and companies, making HSAs more accessible and convenient for them is paramount,” Sabbia says.

As the number of high-deductible health plans continues to rise, HSAs are becoming an increasingly popular employee benefit. HSA accounts grew 13% over the past year to top 25 million, while assets grew 19% to $53.8 billion, according to research firm Devenir. The number of employers providing HSAs continues to surge, but less than 10% of workers report using them to save for the future expenses, Devenir reports.

Providers of the benefit are taking notice and many are updating their tools. For example, WageWorks recently made enhancements to its offerings for its more than 700,000 HSA accounts, representing $1.2 billion in cash balances.

See also: Why Amazon accepting HSA dollars is a big deal

Amazon also recently made a move in the HSA space. The e-commerce company announced it would begin to allow consumers to use the accounts to buy thousands of items on its site. Amazon’s chief competitor, Walmart, allows consumers to use HSA and FSA cards to purchase medical items, as well.

Bank of America also reduced its standard monthly fee by more than 40%, says John Quinn, the company’s head of institutional retirement product and platform. It’s hoping to make the benefit more “affordable and straightforward” for employers and their workers.

“Healthcare is expensive and complicated, and HSAs can be an important component of an employer’s overall benefits designed to help employees live well financially today and in retirement,” Quinn says.

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