Since we know where the market is going, why not go ahead and move in that direction? Here are a few things employers may want to consider this year:

Don't wait. The time to start offering an account based plan is now. Don't wait until 2014. By starting early, you can allow some of your employees to move to an HSA voluntarily. Let it be their decision. If you wait, then the premiums may force them into this plan design in a couple years and they won't feel like they have a choice.

Educate. Education is critical. Consumer-directed plans require more up-front education because they ask employees to take more responsibility. Be sure to budget for this in terms of both cost and time. Schedule a longer enrollment meeting. Invest in some transparency tools. Develop a year-long education plan where you teach employees in bite-size chunks. People can become good healthcare consumers, but they need the right tools.

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