Case study
The Right HSA Provider Offers Cost Savings and a Recruitment Competitive Advantage

Francis Howell School District


Francis Howell School District (FHSD) was founded in 1915 and has since grown to be one of the largest and top-ranked districts in Missouri.

Why they love Lively

  • EaseofonboardingandHSAadministration

  • Investmentoptionsforemployees

  • Qualityofcustomerserviceforadministratorsandemployees

Administrators profiled:

Erin Poggi, Benefits Manager
 Mary Opich, Benefits Specialist

case study - francis howell school district - intro image


Employeesenrolledinan HDHP





Lively HSA


The Challenge

Maximizing limited budgets while meeting employee needs

As members of the finance department at Francis Howell School District (FHSD), the top-rated school district in Saint Charles County, Erin Poggi and Mary Opich are tasked with maximizing limited financial resources while supporting their employees and delivering on their mission. Over 60% of the district’s employees are enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), which enables the district to save on costs while empowering employees to make informed, engaged choices about their healthcare.

To complement their HDHP, they needed an HSA provider that offered easy administration for their team, while offering employees flexibility and features they requested, such as the ability to invest their HSA dollars. As a district dedicated to their employees, offering an HSA with an employer match is a key part of their strategy for employee recruitment and retention. Partnering with Lively has helped FHSD save time by simplifying HSA administration overall, and keeps employees happy with top-rated customer service and robust capabilities such as investment options.


Ease of access. A great account management team. And having employees be able to easily access their money when they need it.


Erin Poggi

Benefits Manager, Francis Howell School District

The Goals

Attract and support employees, control costs, and simplify administration

As a benefits manager for a large school district, one of Erin Poggi’s main goals is to “keep employees engaged and healthy, and engaged in their health.” Keeping employees happy is a main focus of Poggi and her colleague Mary Opich, a Benefits Specialist. According to Poggi, “The reason why we are a high performing District is because of our employees. A way to keep them and continue to recruit [these] amazing individuals to work here is by offering robust benefits.”

Offering a comprehensive benefits package, including a Lively HSA with matching employer contributions, helps give FHSD a competitive advantage over other districts in the area when it comes to recruitment and retention.

A high adoption for HDHPs

Francis Howell School District offers an HDHP as a way to provide employees greater control and responsibility over their healthcare spending and a majority of the employees are enrolled. Poggi explains, “With a high-deductible health plan, there’s an incentive there to be proactive and engaged with your health, and to find the best doctors at the lowest costs.”

FHSD offers employer contributions for HSAs and ensures employees are well educated in order to drive adoption. In addition to user education, easy-to-use technology that is kept up-to-date, and responsive customer support can contribute significantly to higher adoption rates. With Lively, employees have access to their HSA at any time through a user-friendly platform, and they don’t get bounced around call centers; Lively solves over 93% of inquiries in just one interaction.

The ability to invest was of particular interest to FHSD, so it was important to partner with an HSA provider that helped educate their staff about their investment options. Lively’s investment suite offers access to two industry-leading investment options tailored to employee’s investing comfort and financial goals, making it easier for employees to invest their HSA dollars.

An HSA to meet employee and administrator needs

FHSD was looking for an HSA that was simple to set up and administer, offered responsive customer support, and allowed employees to easily access their funds when they needed them. The district had a previous HSA, but employees were asking for an account that offered more robust features and options, especially the ability to invest.

Opich is the main point of contact for employees’ benefits. She explains, “Before Lively came on board, we had a handful of employees who were really pushing for an [HSA provider] that would allow them to invest their money. So, when Lively came along and said, ‘Your employees can invest the money, and then they can access that money if they need it,’ it was great timing because that was something employees were looking for.”

Lively’s investment options, as well as streamlined set-up and administration, were a strong fit for the district’s needs.


[Lively] has also made the day-to-day operations after every payroll so much easier for me.


Mary Opich

Benefits Specialist, Francis Howell School District

The Lively Solution

An HSA that just works

“It was fantastic,” says Opich about the transition to Lively. Lively has also made enrolling employees easy, “Otherwise, I was trying to get a hold of employees, track them down, saying ‘I need your HSA application,’” explains Opich. “Now I can actually enroll them. I just upload a file, which is so much easier than [how I was doing it before].” Lively also is robust enough to work with their payroll provider software, Skyward, in creating custom reports. “Now, my responsibilities after each payroll is just great,” says Opich, in reference to how working with Lively has streamlined payroll contributions and saved her time.

With an employee population that is so engaged with their benefits, the ability to share information is critical. At the time of the transition to Lively, FHSD shared Lively’s educational materials with their employees to help with onboarding, transition, or general education questions.

About working with Lively, Opich remarks, “I love it. It’s been a great experience for me personally, and for the district.”


We don’t hear a lot from employees about Lively, and that, to me, is always good.


Mary Opich

Benefits Specialist, Francis Howell School District

HSA adoption without the “noise”

Opich notes that it has been easy for employees to get started with their Lively HSA and access their balance for their healthcare spending needs throughout the year. Employees are able to easily create and manage their own accounts on the Lively platform, saving Poggi and Opich time and worry. The Lively experience helps employees make the most out of their HSA dollars in a number of ways. The Lively platform is easy to use, the instructions are clear, and it displays important plan information to help employees take timely and informed actions. Plus, if there are questions, employees can trust they’ll receive responsive support from Lively’s top-rated member support team.

Opich has found that employees have been relatively quiet about the transition to Lively, and that’s a good thing. “We don’t hear a lot, and that, to me, is always good. Most people like to tell you all the negative things that happen in their life. Most people aren’t likely to say ‘Hey, I love Lively,’ but they are really likely to say, ‘Hey, I don’t.’ And we don’t hear a lot of ‘I don’ts.’”

In addition to the smooth transition and satisfied employees, FHSD has found the relationship with their assigned Customer Success Manager at Lively especially productive and beneficial and that using the Lively platform has made day-to-day operations much easier. “[Lively] has made the day to day operations after every payroll so much easier for me,” says Opich.

About Lively

Lively is the benefits solutions provider that gets it right. We designed our solutions to take the guesswork out of managing benefits. Our innovative features are built to simplify benefits administration and evolve with your business. By combining robust features with unparalleled service, we make benefits administration effortless, even when your time and energy are limited. Experience benefits administration as it should be with Lively.


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