Skip to content
Rita Harris April 28, 2016 2 min read

Bringing financial wellness to the workplace: Garmin’s success story

Looking for ways to help your employees make better financial decisions? There’s no shortage of financial wellness programs available to help you do this, but one of the most effective tools at your disposal is one that many employers already offer—the high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a health savings account (HSA).

In the webinar, Real World Insight and Techniques to Boost Your Health Savings Account Enrollment and Engagement, sponsored by Employee Benefits News and Employee Benefits Advisors, our CEO, Jennifer Benz, was asked to join Garmin HR Director Gene Lampe and our client, UMB Healthcare Services Vice President Cris Ruiz, to discuss the secrets to employee HSA engagement.

You can listen to the webinar on demand to hear more about the power of HSAs as a financial wellness resource, and how to get employees enrolled and engaged.

Financial wellness has been a big topic for many employers—including Garmin—the past few years.

Recently, Garmin asked one of our longtime clients, UMB Healthcare Services, to help it improve key employee behaviors around HSAs, including increasing HDHP participation, increasing the number of HSA participants contributing personal funds, and increasing the number of HSA participants with an account balance equal to the HDHP deductible.

After conducting market research using UMB’s HSAWorks® tool, UMB discovered Garmin associates who rejected the high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with an HSA did so for two reasons: because of health issues or because they felt it was too risky. For these groups, “high-deductible” meant paying higher out-of-pocket costs and having inferior coverage.

These widely different views about HDHPs created a unique messaging opportunity that led UMB to tap our expertise. For Garmin’s annual benefits enrollment, we developed a targeted financial wellness marketing strategy and campaign to encourage Garmin associates to take the next step toward financial wellness, with communications in a variety of media.

The results?

The campaign efforts yielded a 31% increase in plan enrollment and a 22% increase to the average HSA contribution. In a post-enrollment survey, more than one third of Garmin associates reported they are contributing their own money to their HSA; will pay more medical bills out of pocket; have changed their investments; and/or have increased savings.

Garmin HR executives, Lampe and Stephanie Prell, said: “The HSA fits in beautifully with Garmin’s rich retirement benefits because it’s another savings opportunity—for today’s expenses and health care costs in retirement. When we initially launched the HDHP, we got about 13% enrollment. But many associates wouldn’t consider it because they viewed it as too risky. The HSAWorks pilot helped us understand associates’ perceptions about the HDHP so that we could take the scariness out of it.”

Want to improve your employees’ financial well-being? Start with our 6 Steps to Bring Financial Wellness to the Workplace, a financial wellness framework we developed in partnership with State Street Global Advisors.

Rita Harris

Rita Harris, VP Senior Consultant, is known for her ability to break down complex benefits programs into their essential parts, so employees can quickly assess “what’s in it for me.”