5 benefits trends to watch in 2020

Benefits trends in 2020

There are many benefits trends that we expect to take hold in 2020. Review what they are to ensure that your company is ready for 2020 and beyond.

Increased use of AI while keeping the “human” in Human Resources.

This goes beyond improving agility and responsiveness on websites. That’s so last decade.

This is about smarter apps and decision making support tools. It also includes platforms affecting how information is presented to brokers. In addition, it addresses the shifting role TPAs have in providing customized, real-time data to users.

However, despite the rise of AI and other automation tools, there is still an emphasis on keeping the human touch in HR.

While decision support tools will be growing in prominence, the job projections for HR Managers over the next 8 years is 7%. (As a benchmark, the average is 5%).

Incorporating lifestyle components into pre-tax accounts.

The buzz phrase “health and wellness” is currently widely used to reference services or products that take a more holistic approach to care. Instead of focusing on routine medicine, they take a step back to look at the entire person.

So, how will this affect tax advantaged accounts like Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Reimbursement Accounts? In the coming years, it is likely that these accounts will incorporate wellness benefits. That includes things like gym membership reimbursements and other wellness activities.

Providing an advance on HSA funds.

Tools like HSA Bridge allows employees to pay for qualified expenses with tax-free money before their HSA balance has built up.

By allowing employees to access future scheduled HSA deposits, it curbs worries about not having enough to cover unexpected costs. By addressing employees’ fears, employers are able to increase HSA participation and curb rising premium costs. The net impact becomes a win-win for employees and employers.

See more about how this feature works.

Wider acceptance of funds by non-medical merchants.

If you’re a Beniversal Card holder, you may already know how easy it is to utilize pre-tax dollars. Pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and IIAS and 90% merchants can directly debit from employees FSA or HSA account.

Did you know you can also use your card to make purchases on some regular sites? Check out popular sites like Smile Direct,, and even Warby Parker for instance.

Legislation in favor of pre-tax accounts.

Legislative activity has been stirring for each account and shows no signs of slowing.

In 2017, there was the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For instance, HSAs, Dependent Care FSAs and Commuter programs were affected. Read more about the changes here.

In 2018, New Jersey became the first state to pass a statewide Commuter Benefit Ordinance.

Finally, at the end of 2019, the Cadillac Tax was repealed and nonprofits were given tax relief through the repeal of UBIT.

What’s on the horizon?

  • Health Reimbursement Accounts: The White House projects that HRAs will ultimately be offered to 11 million employees, with a net gain in health coverage for 800,000 Americans.
  • Qualified Health Savings Account Distribution Act: Modifies rules for terminating or converting from a flexible spending account or health reimbursement account to a health savings account.
  • Health Savings Account Expansion Act: Modifies the requirements for HSAs by increasing contribution limits, permitting HSA funds to be used on premiums, allowing over-the-counter expenses to be paid from HSA, eliminating health plan requirements and reducing tax on non-qualified withdrawals.
  • American Future Healthcare Act: Provides various enhancements to make health savings accounts more accessible and easier to use.
  • Child and Dependent Care Modernization Act: Increases the limits for dependent care accounts and allows unused funds to be carried forward to the next year.
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