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Top benefits trends

Hiring new staff. Supporting existing staff. Questions. Emails. Crucial conversations. Whether you work in human resources or run your own small business, any or all of the above are likely a big part of your day.

Providing cutting-edge benefits that meet your employees’ needs is vital in supporting recruiting and retention. WEX is in a unique position to educate you on the latest benefits trends because of our wide data pool built on our WEX benefits platform, which includes millions of HSAs and other benefits accounts.

Here are the most interesting and actionable trends from that data to help you support your employees.


HSA employer contribution

Our deep data pool has revealed that employer contributions to HSAs can influence participants to be more engaged with their accounts.

What’s the employer contribution sweet spot?

Employer contributions do influence employee contributions. How do we know that? More than 7 million HSAs are on the WEX benefits platform, giving us unique insights into participant behavior.

Our data insights team has learned:

Any contribution
of $50 or more will encourage participation.

For family coverage
a $1,500 to $1,750 employer contribution yields the highest employee contribution.

For individuals
a $750 to $1,000 employer contribution yields the highest employee contribution.

Data is from WEX benefits platform.


Lifestyle spending accounts

The last couple years has created a shift in needs around mental, physical, and financial employee wellness. Lifestyle spending accounts (LSAs) are perfectly positioned to support these needs.

Data is from our LEAP platform


Medical FSA spending habits

Hundreds of eligible expenses are available for medical FSA participants’ funds. And that list expanded when the CARES Act permanently reinstated over-the-counter products as eligible expenses. Learn more about what participants spend their medical FSA funds on.

Breakdown of medical FSA spending by category:

42% Medical
20% Dental
18% Pharmacy
14% Vision
5% Other

Data is based on categorizing of purchases made with FSAs on the WEX benefits platform

Percent of medical FSA funds specifically spent at:

Orthodontists: 14%

Drug stores/pharmacies: 13.7%

Optometrists/ophthalmologists: 5.8%

Opticians/optical goods/eyeglasses: 5.7%

Chiropractic: 1.9%

Dependent care FSAs

The COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of flexible work arrangements has transformed the needs around child care and other dependent care needs. The year 2021 showed us that participants’ contributions to dependent care FSAs returned to pre-pandemic levels, showing these accounts are back in high demand.


Mental health

More than one-quarter (28%) of employers in a post-open enrollment survey told us they changed their wellness offerings to provide more mental health benefits to their employees.

What did they tell us they are expanding?
  • Free or expanded telehealth
  • More Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offerings
  • Reduced or eliminated copays for mental health services
  • More virtual and/or app capability

Health literacy

If your HR teams are fielding a lot of employee questions about their benefits, we’ve compiled our lists with some of the most-searched terms and articles in 2021 in our participant knowledgebase.

  • Rollover
  • 1099
  • Account number
  • Reimbursement
  • Eligible expenses for benefits plans
  • Claim form
  • General WEX benefits card information
  • Medical FSA eligible expenses
  • Carryovers for FSAs FAQ

But wait, there’s more!

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If you’re a WEX partner, you can access industry-leading benchmarking data within the WEX benefits platform.

@2022 WEX Health, Inc.