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LSA Case Study

The Problem

Traditional group benefits come with restrictions that dictate how employees can use them. Since all employees and their families are at different stages of life and have different needs and priorities, there’s no one-size-fits-all benefits strategy. When employers don’t offer a comprehensive benefits package that meets the needs of their employees, it can have a negative effect on employee retention. So, employers are looking for flexible solutions to strengthen their benefits package and help employees cover expenses that fit their lifestyle.

The Plan

We launched the Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA) as a solution for employers of all sizes.

The LSA is an employer-funded account designed for flexibility. Employers can customize the account by setting a maximum contribution amount and outlining the expenses it will cover. Expenses can include health and wellness-related items not covered by traditional group health insurance, like gym memberships, nutrition programs, financial planning, etc. Employers can also elect to cover other expenses like home office equipment and other recreational items like hunting and fishing licenses.

The Details

Eligible expenses varied between groups and included various combinations of:

Emotional Wellness Expenses:

Personal development Classes

Meditation Classes

Retreats (leadership, spiritual, spa/day spa, etc)

Hunting License

Fishing License

Pet Care (walking, grooming, general care, etc.)

Cooking classes

Camping (ex tent, site rental fees, cooking equipment, blow up mattress, sleeping bags, etc)

Passes (ski, snowboard, golf, swimming, etc.)

Annual Park Pass

Therapy/Counseling (spiritual,marriage, etc)

Gender affirmation care

Family Planning Services

Physical or Food & Nutrition:


Gym/Fitness Club Memberships

Health Club & Spa Memberships

Fitness Classes (Spin/Cycle, Yoga, Zumba, etc.)

Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional Counseling

Fitness Trackers

Weight-loss Programs


Rock Climbing expenses

Personal Trainer

Fees for Marathons, Sports Leagues, Etc

Martial Arts expenses

Athletic/Gym equipment & accessories

Sports Lessons – (swimming, golf, tennis, etc.)

Financial Wellness Expenses:

ID Theft Expenses

Financial Planning & Advisory

Student Loan Reimbursement

Financial Seminars/Classes

Home purchase expense reimbursement (down payment, closing costs)

Work Support:

Remote Work Expenses:  Office furniture & equipment such as desks, chairs, headphones, keyboard trays, internet bills, printers, printer supplies, bulletin boards, white boards, desk lighting, desk organizers, surge protectors

Home office safety supplies:  Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, carbon dioxide detectors

Gasoline Expenses

Cell Phone Cost

Why did groups offer an LSA?

While employers chose to implement the account for a variety of reasons, a common theme was “strengthening their benefits package.”

Here are some of the reasons our clients chose to offer an LSA: 

  • “Our employees expressed an interest in it.”
  • “To encourage our employees to invest in their health and wellness.”
  • “To be more competitive in our benefits offerings for new employees.”
  • “To strengthen our benefits package to improve employee retention.” 
  • “To help our employees pay for expenses that our group health plan doesn’t cover.”

Participant Feedback:

While employers chose to implement the account for a variety of reasons, a common theme was “strengthening their benefits package.”

Here are some of the reasons our clients chose to offer an LSA: 

“The ease of submitting my claims.”

“Being reimbursed for expenditures. It keeps me up to date on healthy alternatives.”

“The user experience while accessing my account information and the disbursement notifications.”

“I was able to be reimbursed for my contacts and for my monthly CPAP equipment and supplies.”

“Ease of process to submit for reimbursement.”

“I love this added benefit to cover expenses not typically covered within other benefits”

“The wide range of services that are covered and how easy it was to get reimbursed!”

“Getting reimbursed for wellness items that I actually use”

“It is simple to file a claim.”

The Outcome

During the first year of implementation, organizations ranging in size from 4 employees to 1000-plus employees chose to offer an LSA as part of their benefits package. Each employer customized their group’s plan by choosing the annual reimbursement limit and eligible expenses.

The annual allowances varied between groups and ranged from $480 to $3,000, and the average participation rate was over 97%

All employees responding to our survey reported they were satisfied or very satisfied with their LSA, and over 65% said they had used the LSA to purchase health or wellness items they wouldn’t have purchased without the LSA.

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