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6 ways companies gain from an off-cycle LSA launch

Lifestyle Spending Accounts can be launched outside of open enrollment (OE), a small feature that benefits employees and employers greatly.

 Min Read 

The value of decoupling LSAs from open enrollment

Unlike medical, dental, and vision benefits, Lifestyle Spending Accounts, or LSAs, offer a distinct advantage: they can be introduced outside of the regular open enrollment (OE) period. This flexibility applies not only to the initial launch of an employer’s LSA program but also to subsequent expansions where companies open up additional spending accounts to employees.

Companies can reap several benefits by introducing their LSA at a time other than January 1st.

In this article, we’ll explore 6 reasons why organizations should consider launching their LSAs outside of their OE period.

6 reasons to launch LSAs off-cycle

1. It helps sidestep open enrollment fatigue for employees

Each fall, employees need to opt into their core benefits during OE in preparation for the next calendar year. The process can be overwhelming for employees. They have to sift through complicated plan offerings, contemplate the associated pros and cons, and imagine what will work best given their circumstances. When companies lump LSAs into the OE process, the value-added benefit can go unnoticed. Instead, launching your LSA at another time of the year brings the attention that LSAs deserve.

2. It can increase program awareness and satisfaction

When companies launch their LSAs during times that avoid busy periods, they prevent the program from being overshadowed by other priorities. Shining a spotlight on the easy-to-digest advantages of LSAs encourages employees to try using their benefit upon launch. When individuals engage with their LSA upfront, it can help to encourage long-term usage. Inevitably, this keeps employees satisfied with their Lifestyle Spending Accounts. 

3. It allows an opportunity for continuous employee engagement

Launching your LSAs at points other than January 1st gives you a chance to re-engage with your workers purposefully. This approach fosters a culture of continuous improvement and puts well-being front and center throughout the year, not just at the beginning.

4. It enables benefits teams to maximize their impact

Preparation for open enrollment absorbs significant mindshare from benefits teams. Decoupling LSAs from OE can help HR leaders immensely. More time to plan ensures that all details from account design to employee communications are well thought out before launch. Such critical decisions at launch can impact the long-term success of the program. 

5. It can help with budgeting

Companies may have fiscal calendars that don’t align with the calendar year. Preparing to launch an LSA program at a time that coincides with the company's fiscal calendar can ease the budgeting approvals process. Better yet, oftentimes new budgets are not required for LSAs.

6. It gives companies a chance to time the launch with other key initiatives

LSAs are an incredibly flexible benefit. This affords HR teams the chance to launch the benefit in conjunction with other key company initiatives at any point in the year. Aligning the launch with other company-wide happenings can help amplify the perceived value of the benefit. For instance, companies could launch LSAs alongside performance reviews as a way to help recognize and reward individuals. 

Get LSA expertise with Forma

Forma helps companies manage their lifestyle benefits including LSAs, HSAs, FSAs, and more. Figuring out when to launch is just one of many decisions that we’re well-equipped to support as we’ve launched LSAs with some of the world’s best companies.

For more information and best practices about program design, <span class="text-style-link text-color-blue" fs-mirrorclick-element="trigger" role="button">schedule a consultation</span> with one of our experts. We’d be happy to help you.