WageWorks Review: Is it Right for Your Employees?

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WageWorks Review: Is it Right for Your Employees?

First, the who and what is WageWorks, and then the WageWorks review.

WageWorks is a provider of a variety of healthcare accounts and benefit plans.

As of August 30, 2019, they were acquired by HealthEquity Inc but will retain the name WageWorks.

WageWorks is Acquired by HealthEquity

HealthEquity is a healthcare that was incorporated in 2002 in Tucson, Arizona. In 2004 the transferred its incorporation to Utah. The IRS gives them the designation of non-bank health savings trustee. With this designation, they are legally allowed to be custodians and administrators of health savings accounts. However, funds can still be deposited in any financial institution of an investors choice.

HealthEquity was founded by Stephen D. Neeleman MD, Nuno Battaglia and David Hall with the intention of advancing consumer-driven health plans. (CDHP).

A consumer-driven health plan is a type of account that allows account holders to pay some or all of their routine healthcare expenses. These types of accounts include:

  • health savings accounts (HSAs)
  • health reimbursement accounts (HRAs)
  • any medical payment account such as the above

However, more costly medical expenses are not included in these accounts. For those expenses to be covered, a high-deductible health plan is necessary. As a side note, to obtain a health savings account, one of the prerequisites is having one of these high-deductible health plans, so, in theory at least, you are ultimately covered for all medical expenses.

HealthEquity’s Investment into WageWorks

All of this is good news for WageWorks customers.

HealthEquity has announced their intention to invest $80 to $100 million in initiatives.

Over the next two to three years, HealthEquity’s goal is to return WageWorks customer back to the United States. They also have a plan of action that will see an expansion to both digital and live customer engagement capabilities. Customers can expect to have benefit experts available to connect with 24 hours a day, every day. Employers can expect an upgrade to the platform that will allow for simplified administration. All can expect an increase in data security and privacy protection.

To recap:

  • WageWorks was acquired by HealthEquity as of August 30, 2019, but it appears they will maintain the WageWorks branding
  • HealthEquity was founded in 2002 and is now headquartered and incorporated in Utah
  • The IRS has granted HealthEquity the designation of a non-bank health savings trustee.
  • HealthEquity has announced their intention to invest $80 to $100 million into WageWorks over the next 2 to 3 years
  • Upgrades will include but may not be limited to:
    • Customer returning to the United States
    • Better digital and live customer capabilities
    • Benefit experts available to connect with 24/7
    • A better admin platform for employers
    • Increased security and privacy

WageWorks Review

Since WageWorks is continuing to operate as WageWorks, a WageWorks review is necessary. And since they are changing, we’ll need to address the question what is WageWorks more than ever.

First, since news of the acquisition is probably new to some, let’s talk about what you should initially expect.

In the term, WageWorks is promising that its customers won’t have to deal with any disruptions of their . In the long term, as pointed out above, customers can expect better all around, from personal customer to digital platforms.

As changes and improvements roll out, WageWorks will keep its customers in the loop.

To recap:

  • WageWorks is changing
  • There will be no initial disruptions for customers
  • WageWorks will provide information on changes as soon as they have it available

For now, customers don’t need to make any changes to their accounts. You can continue to access your accounts just as you always have, whether you were a WageWorks customer or a HealthEquity customer. You will be advised of any changes that need to be made to access your accounts well in advance.

The acquisition of WageWorks means greater services available to existing WageWorks customers. HealthEquity is one of the largest health savings account providers in the United States. Amalgamating their services with WageWorks HSA and other existing provisions of FSAs and HRAs means customers will now have access to a broader platform of services.

WageWorks also some key issues concerning support:

  • Customers will continue to work with their existing account managers whether they are current WageWorks customers or HealthEquity customers.
  • For the time being at least, you will continue to use the customer phone you now use.
  • Whether you are a WageWorks customer or HealthEquity customer, you will continue to contact the same employer services you have been for any account assistance.
  • Employees will continue to contact the same member services, whether WageWorks or HealthEquity. For example, those using MyBenefits WageWorks will continue to do so.
  • The manner in which you receive service now will remain the same. When things are about to change, WageWorks will notify all customers.
  • WageWorks service centers will remain in Tempe, Irving, Milwaukee, and Louisville. Additionally, there is a HealthEquity service center based in Utah.
  • WageWorks has a goal of providing the best and the fastest customer service possible. The plan between HealthEquity and WageWorks is to create and implement a coordinated service model with a single person taking the lead for all of your accounts.
  • Your Open Enrollment (OE) 2020 will not be impacted by the acquisition. We will continue to work to increase your participant enrollment in different benefit programs. You will still have access to any of your current Take by WageWorks Open Enrollment materials, and you can continue to work with the person who currently acts as your internal support contact.

 Services the New WageWorks will Offer

Our WageWorks review wouldn’t be complete without briefing you on their new improved suite of accounts and benefits programs. The combined services now include:

  • Health Savings Accounts (WageWorks HSA)
  • Flexible Savings Account (FSA)
    Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
  • Direct Bill Accounts
  • Commuter Benefits
  • Fitness Reimbursement Programs
  • Education Reimbursement Programs

is a brief explanation of some of the accounts and programs now included.

The WageWorks HSA—or any health savings account in general—is a tax-advantaged medical savings account. None of the money contributed to one of these accounts is subject to income tax at the time of deposit. You must use the money in the account for qualifying healthcare expenses only.

A flexible spending account (FSA) is a common type of medical savings account often offered along with traditional health care plans.

A major difference between an FSA and an HSA is what happens to funds at the end of the plan year. An HSA will allow all funds to roll over, but there are strict limitations to the amount that can roll over to the new year in an FSA account. Basically, this type of account forces you to use the funds or lose them.

Is WageWorks Right for Your Employees?

After reading our WageWorks review, what have you decided? Have we answered the question what is WageWorks or at least provided insights into what WageWorks is to become?

The acquisition of WageWorks by HealthEquity promises to be a positive move for customers new and old. If you hesitated you use them in the past, now might be your time to reassess.