Case Study
How the Right HSA Enables ZGA Architects to Hire the Right Employees

ZGA Architects and Planners Case Study


ZGA Architects and Planners has provided comprehensive architectural, planning, design and construction administration services since 1973. They are based in Boise, Idaho.

Why they love Lively:

  • User-friendly for administration and employees

  • Comprehensive customer support all year long

  • More benefit options and flexibility for employees

Administrator profiled:

Erica Galeai, HR Manager

Benefits of HSA employer matching


of employees enrolled in an HDHP


Lively HSA

Lively benefits offered



likelihood of recommending Lively on a scale of 1-10

The Challenge

Limited administrative resources, clunky technology, and high fees

As a small business in a highly specialized field, ZGA Architects and Planners needs to keep their benefits package flexible and competitive in order to attract and retain the best talent. About 50% of the company’s employees are enrolled in Lively’s HSA, and HR Manager Erica Galeai states that it is an important part of the company’s benefits package. “[An HSA] is a great benefit to offer, and I think our people appreciate having that option. I’m hoping that as we grow, offering a good benefits package will be another reason people continue to choose ZGA.”

As an HR “jack of all trades” and a team of one, Galeai not only aims to support employees holistically, but make accessing and using their benefits easy. ZGA has been working with Lively to offer an HSA to their employees for about two years. They transitioned to Lively from a previous provider, NueSynergy, which uses Wealthcare, a third-party platform from Alegeus. Their former platform was challenging to use, charged high fees, and had unresponsive support. “I just wanted something that was user friendly,” said Galeai. “Their system was so clunky. It was horrible. We were with them for a long time and it just never got easier. To try and get any kind of help was horrible. I think that's what’s so refreshing about Lively — if I have any kind of question I could reach out and someone would help me.”

The Goal

Using benefits as a recruiting advantage in a competitive field

“Benefits are a huge factor for employees when they’re deciding on a company,” says Galeai. “Employees want to make sure they have access to a good benefits package, especially with healthcare. I want to make sure that we are competitive in that field,” she emphasizes.

While offering an attractive benefits package is a goal for many employers, it's especially important when recruiting architects. “It’s a very competitive field because of how specific it is,” explains Galeai, “We’re all vying for the same people and everybody's working that wants to be working, so it's very hard to find candidates. And then when you find the candidates, you want to be able to offer the best benefits.”

Empower employees with flexibility and choice for their healthcare with an HDHP and HSA

In addition to attracting the best candidates, Galeai is focused on supporting employees and their families, both inside and outside of work. “To take care of employees as a whole is my goal,” says Galeai. Offering a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and HSA enables employees to be more in control of their healthcare and, from Galeai’s perspective, help employees customize their care to work best for them. “It is a cost savings to us,” she says, “But more so I'm thinking of the employee and being able to give them options of what would work best for their families. I love HSAs. I think they are a great benefit to offer.”


I wanted [an HSA] that was easy for me, and for the employees. That was my main goal, just making it easier for everybody.


Erica Galeai

HR Manager

Finding an HSA provider that makes access and administration easy

While offering an HSA is a key part of ZGA Architect’s benefits strategy, Galeai admitted that their previous HSA provider was “so clunky that nobody wanted to use it.” Simply having an HSA is not enough to drive adoption: Education, support, and user-friendly technology are also important factors for employees.

After a series of mergers and acquisitions, she felt that the quality of support she received from ZGA’s previous HSA provider had declined, and it was unclear who she could go to at that company for the help she needed. In Galeai’s search for a new HSA provider, she says, “I wanted [an HSA] that was easy for me, and for the employees, on both sides. That was my main goal, just making it easier for everybody.”

The Transition to Lively

A breath of fresh air from their previous provider

ZGA Architects works with a benefits broker to find the right insurance and benefits for their team. During Open Enrollment, Galeai asked about alternative HSA providers because, “I was so frustrated. Our previous provider changed names, they've changed companies. It was so confusing, I didn't know who to contact. It was just a mess. And they were charging a high monthly minimum. So it was expensive. It wasn't user friendly at all. And I got the runaround any time I had to call if I had an issue or something.”

The Lively platform felt like a breath of fresh air for Galeai. “It just had a different feel to it,” she said, “I didn’t look at anybody else after I looked at Lively.” Lively’s easy-to-use platform and features was the major factor that influenced Galeai’s choice, but she also appreciated the accessible, responsive customer support and the lower fees. Because Lively develops their own technology, we are able to ensure the platform is easy-to-use for both employers and their employees. In addition, our customer support team is able to resolve issues faster because they can access the platform directly – we don’t play “hot potato” with customer questions and needs.


I didn’t look at anybody else after I found Lively. The platform was just great.


Erica Galeai

HR Manager

A seamless, supportive transition

“[The transition] was very easy from the Lively side,” said Galeai, “Getting everybody’s account set up was super smooth. The contribution set-up was easy.” Though their previous provider was inconsistent when they initiated the transfer of funds to Lively, fortunately, she was able to rely on Lively for support. “The member of the Lively Customer Success Team that helped me get set up was great. Getting set up was just super seamless.” When she reached out to Lively’s Customer Success Team with questions, they called her to walk her through her questions in order to ensure she had the support she needed.

The Lively Solution

Easy-to-use platform and exceptional service and education

Galeai has been working with Lively for nearly two years and loves the straightforward user interface, simple-to-use platform, and the comprehensive year-round support.

About the platform, she says, “It's nice to be able to have a good platform where it's easy for the administrator, as well as the employees. Super easy for them to get in and change their information and get timely responses back from Lively. So across the board it’s just been a really good experience for the users and myself as the administrator.” She also appreciates how straightforward the platform is, “If I had to have someone take over my responsibilities, it would be super easy to direct them how to do it just because it's so user friendly and intuitive.”

In addition, Galeai has found Lively’s online resources for Open Enrollment (OE) and ongoing employee education a valuable resource. “[Lively] had great materials to offer. I was able to go online, within the Lively platform, and find resources that I could hand out to employees. I appreciated having access to share with employees during OE, it made it easy to guide them, like ‘Hey, this is what you could be doing, this is what the HSA is, and how it works.’ The literature was super helpful. I appreciate that Lively has options for education, and that they’re always willing to help keep our people informed.”


When I had questions, our assigned Customer Success Manager called and walked me through it, instead of just sending an email. That stuck out to me. Most companies would not do that.


Erica Galeai

HR Manager

The importance of empathy in service

Lively’s 360-degree service model has also been another one of Galeai’s highlights of working with Lively. “What stuck out the most was the customer service, from the people I worked with on the Customer Success Team all the way to the customer service for account holders. When I had questions, our dedicated Customer Success Manager called me and walked me through it, instead of just sending an email. She wanted to ensure I understood it. That stuck out to me. Most companies would not do that.”

Perhaps most important for Galeai, ZGA Architects employees are happy with Lively’s HSA. She says, “They like having easy access to their information and they have great things to say about it too. So it’s a good win-win.”

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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