U.S. Bank On Healthcare Accounts: The Industry Of Acronyms
If consumers are to be able to take better advantage of the various healthcare accounts in the market today, they have to first understand what those options entail.
According to Jeff Pape, products strategy manager at U.S. Bank, that’s why his company makes consumer education one if its priorities. PYMNTS.com spoke with Pape about U.S. Bank’s recent HSA administration partnership with the State of Kansas, the benefits of different healthcare account types, and how the healthcare industry as a whole is changing.
“What’s happening, and really at an accelerated rate, is consumers are taking more responsibility and are managing their healthcare expenses much like we manage other day-to-day expenses that we have. So Consumer Driven Healthcare allows employees to have more choice and more options in managing their healthcare expenses,” Pape explained. “That whole suite then is made up of the product offerings we talked about, whether that’s HSA or FSA accounts, and it really helps the employers offer insurance to their employees, but it gives the employees more control over their choices and how their expenses related to health care are paid for.”
What are the different options these accounts offer employees? Pape gave us a basic rundown of the most common account types.
Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs, are “tools that can be funded either by the employer, by the employee or both,” and are useful because they are “portable,” meaning they can be carried over from one employer to another. Another advantage of such accounts is that the funds they accumulate can be transferred on a year-to-year basis, making long-term healthcare savings possible.
Fixed Spending Accounts, or FSAs, are the other predominant option in the market, and Pape explains that while these accounts are also “tax-deferred,” the money placed into FSA accounts does not role over year-to-year.
Finally, Heath Reimbursement Arrangements, or HRAs, are accounts that allow you to reimburse yourself for medical expenses that you pay for out of pocket. These reimbursements can be tax free, and unused funds can be rolled over on a yearly basis.
U.S. Bank’s Consumer Driven Healthcare suite offers both HSAs and FSAs, and is a program that, in the case of the Kansas partnership, has seen what Pape characterizes as “a lot of momentum” in the enrollment process.
“The key to all this,” Pape says, “is that there are multiple solutions that both employees and employers look for, and it’s really becoming a very personal choice that employees are using to manage their healthcare choices.”
To hear more Pape on U.S. Bank’s agreement with Kansas, how U.S. Bank educations consumers and more, listen here.
*If you have trouble with the audio player above, click here.
Senior Vice President and Payables Strategy Manager, US Bank
Jeff Pape is senior vice president and payables strategy manager in the Corporate Payment Systems division at US Bank.
Responsible for the business development strategy of U.S. Bank’s commercial payables businesses, Pape leads the strategic development of commercial cards, payables products, healthcare and EIPP solutions. Jeff’s 17-plus years’ experience includes product management, relationship management, operations and technology. Pape participates on several industry committees for Visa and MasterCard. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin.
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