Help Employees Make Informed Benefits Choices

Increasing Benefits Choices

According to Willis Towers Watson’s, Best Practices in Health Care Employer Survey Report, more organizations want to enhance the employee benefits experience by expanding choice in both plan and product offerings. 84% of companies already offer choice in medical plans, and 86% would like to increase choice and variety in their voluntary offerings by next year. This is a very good thing because it shows employers are interested in ensuring their benefits meet the needs of their diverse workforce. A great way to offer more choices is through an online benefits marketplace, which basically allows employees to select online which benefits they want from all the benefits offered by their employer. However, many organizations are worried that by expanding benefits choices, employees will get overwhelmed and make poor benefits decisions.

How To Help Employees Make Informed Benefits Choices

Here are two ways employers can make the benefits selection process manageable and ensure employees are making informed choices.

  1. Decision Support. “Decision Support” provides resources to help employees better understand the benefits offered. Decision support can come in many forms, from educational resources to plan comparison tools. it is very important for employers to choose a benefits platform that offers decision support in order so employees can select plans that will work best for them.
  2. Recommendations. In the case of Willis Towers Watson’s Group Marketplace, an online questionnaire is used to assess employee information regarding health care use and preferences, financial and lifestyle concerns, and other factors. The system then generates recommendations based on survey results. Even if the employees don’t necessarily take the system generated recommendation, it offers a great starting point. Employees can then decide if they need more or less benefits and pick a plan that better fits their needs. To learn more about the impact of system recommendations, visit the Private Exchange Research Council’s (PERC) latest white paper, “Understanding the Influence of Decision Support on Employee Benefit Selections.”

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