SAN FRANCISCO - December 5, 2013
It’s open enrollment season for millions of American workers, and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is helping a growing number of employers lower annual healthcare expenses with the Wells Fargo-administered Health Savings Account (HSA) program, while providing their employees with powerful, long-term benefits.
With the HSA 10th anniversary arriving this January, employers are saving an average of $1,500 per worker in HSA-qualified health plan premiums. In 2012 alone, the Wells Fargo administered HSA program saved U.S. businesses an additional $25 million in payroll taxes. This year, the total savings will top $40 million. Employees, meanwhile, save up to $25 or more on each $100 in HSA contributions and can build a safety net for retirement medical expenses.
“HSAs help employees save money by allowing them to use pretax dollars to pay for expenses that aren’t covered by their health insurance plans, like payments for doctor’s visits and prescriptions, as well as dental and vision costs,” said Elizabeth Ryan, executive vice president and head of Health Benefit Services for Wells Fargo. “Outside of the numerous financial benefits, these accounts can also be easily integrated into a family’s finances just like any other Wells Fargo account. This resonates with our business clients who are looking to provide competitive benefits for their employees.”
Created as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act of 2003, the HSA is a pretax healthcare account that offers multiple benefits to employers and their workers, from smaller health plan premiums to bigger retirement savings. In the last decade, Wells Fargo has transformed its HSA business to address customers’ growing interest in offering only HSA-based health plan programs. As of third quarter 2013, Wells Fargo totaled over $1 billion in HSA assets and more than 400,000 individual accountholders.
One company taking advantage of the savings is Greatbatch Inc., a global designer and manufacturer of products for implantable medical devices. Since 2006, the company has partnered with Wells Fargo on an HSA program that has helped rein in annual healthcare cost increases.
“HSAs are an integral part of our overall healthcare strategy,” says Gina Campbell, director of benefits for Greatbatch, which offers one healthcare option, a high deductible health plan with an HSA. “As a result, our associates have become engaged healthcare consumers over the past five years. A strong HSA program administered by Wells Fargo along with our medical plan and our wellness initiative has truly benefited Greatbatch and our associates.”
Employers’ rising interest in HSAs mirrors the findings of the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index for fourth quarter 2013, which shows concern among small businesses about healthcare expense is growing. (See info graphic.)
For employees, HSAs offer triple-tax savings, including tax-free contributions, tax-free earnings from interest and investments, and tax-free payments for qualified medical expenses, among other benefits:
- Unused HSA funds do not expire at year-end. They carry forward year after year, helping build tax-free savings that can pay for medical expenses in retirement
- A valuable savings tool for employees who might not have a 401(k) or have reached the maximum in retirement contributions
- Convenient online and mobile access alongside other Wells Fargo bank accounts
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.5 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, and the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2013 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at blogs.wellsfargo.com.