Innovation at the intersection of health and finance: The Health Savings Account

As the cost of healthcare in America continues to climb, employers and consumers alike are making changes to account for the rising costs. As employers shift more and more healthcare costs on to their employees, they are offering high deductible health plans (HDHP) more frequently. The Health Savings Account (HSA) created in 2003, has gained in popularity as a companion product to make the HDHP more appealing to employees - and is expected to hit 30 million accounts by 2020. However, employees and consumers are still unclear about what their health savings options are and the benefits of engaging with them as well as there is lack of understanding of the difference between the various health savings options now available.

Bend Financial is an HSA technology company with a team of experienced industry professionals with a vision to create an HSA that works for people and employers, driving engagement and offering tools to maximize the potential of the benefit. They were looking for a partner to ensure that the design of the product was as differentiated and innovative as their underlying vision. In a homogenous market with 1000+ players, the majority of whom are more traditional banking institutions there is a significant opportunity to be a disrupter by creating a trustworthy, approachable experience for consumers.

We led the Bend team through a business model canvas to clarify project drivers and to align around strategic goals. Recognizing that our client already had deep knowledge of the competitive landscape, we focussed our efforts during discovery on a more human-centered approach. Interviews with current HSA users allowed us to experience some of the competitive products and revealed key areas of opportunity. We synthesized our findings, establishing two primary areas for innovation

  • Reduced friction: taking the pain out of setting up and managing HSAs to provide convenience and utility.
  • Savvy Spending: delivering intelligent, behavior-based guidance to help users grow their savings and spend or invest them wisely.

Innovating at the intersection of health and finance

The Bend HSA product offers an experience for the user that is modern, simple and highly usable. This differentiates it from competitors, setting a new standard of design excellence for the whole industry. Using AI and behavior based logic, the platform meets consumers where they are, teaching them how to make the most of their HSA, whether they’re first time users or experienced investors. Because Health Savings is intertwined with insurance, payroll and has tax implications, for many it is incredibly complex to understand. The solution includes sophisticated expense and contribution management, providing clarity that is missing from other platforms. Compelling data visualizations offers a snapshot of all aspects of saving and spending, ensuring consumers understand their benefit status.

Strong Collaboration & Partnership

Unlike some of our clients, Bend already had their own web application development team and was primarily looking for a design partner. We went beyond simply creating screens and instead developed an entire design system in a very rapid timeframe, giving this startup client a launchpad for success. Our deliverables included a fully responsive HTML prototype that’s ready for API integration, as well as a documented design framework that is a blueprint for product extension and evolution.


Vue.js, TypeScript


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