Meet My BFF: The FSA Activist

As the busiest Open Enrollment season approaches, our opportunity to get out and meet the consumers that we serve each day approaches with it. At Baker Tilly Vantagen, we provide our clients with our time and energy on-site to speak with their existing FSA consumers and employees weighing their options.

As I look back on all the experiences I’ve had on-site with clients, the travel, the overnight accommodations, the local eats are all shadowed in memory to a moment I ultimately end up having at each and every benefit fair…my run in with “the FSA Activist”.

The FSA Activist seeks out our table. She looks for the bends of our myFlexDollars logo and the prominent Benny card displayed for all to see. Folder in hand, she approaches – anxious to show us how she’s done this year. All of her health care invoices and EOBs neatly organized by service date in her folder. It’s at that moment that we feel the impact of what our accounts provide consumers, a way to pay all those services without hesitation or concern and the empowerment consumers feels when they have it all under control. The FSA Activist generously shares how much she loves her FSA, her method of organizing receipts, and a quick but accurate count of just how many people in her work group to whom she’s spread the word. Sometimes she even brings along a friend to advocate – a skeptic turned believer based solely upon the Activist’s activism.

The FSA Activist likely began participating in an FSA many moons ago, when FSAs had a bad rap. They were scary. All those funds could be lost, after all! But through her participation all those years the FSA Activist has learned that the confidence and control an FSA can provide makes planning for the knowns and unknowns of health care spending worthy of her participation.

The FSA Activist has become a full engaged consumer of health care. As our benefits industry changes and more consumer-directed plans are implemented to support the overall landscape of each employer’s health care offering, more FSA Activists will emerge. The light bulbs will turn on, the folders will be created.

Our responsibility to both our client partners and our consumers is to make the transition from new participant to FSA Activist fast, easy and fun. Our platform is accessible and easy to use. Our consumer collateral is fun, inviting and engaging. Our people are accessible, ready to coach, educate and move these new consumers closer to enlightenment.

So here is to the start of another busy benefits season full of fairs and what I hope for most: more opportunities to engage with our FSA Activists!