The Gap in Benefits Communication
The 2017 ALEX Benefits Communication Survey found that 55% of employees whose companies offer health insurance say they would like help from their employer when choosing a health plan. This is likely due to the fact that 49% of employees say making health insurance decisions is very stressful for them and 36% say the open enrollment process at their company is extremely confusing. The biggest knowledge gaps occurred in the follow section, though. They survey found that 54% of employees didn’t know if or when they could make changes to their healthcare plan and 43% were unclear on where to direct health insurance questions.
Helping Employees Better Understand their Health Insurance
Here are five tips from The Benefits Guide to help create a strategy for health care promotion in the workplace:
- Bring in a health insurance broker. Health insurance brokers have a deep understanding about the ins and outs of health insurance and how it works. They can go over the more complex questions like how deductibles work and the differences between PPOs, HMOs and high-deductible setups.
- Make benefits information easily accessible: Instead of providing a manual or booklet, make your plan information available and easily searchable on your company’s internal site. Also, include charts and graphics as visual tools for conveying complex information.
- Make help available: Handling health insurance will be a different experience for everyone. Some employees may only have annual checkups and others may have chronic conditions or hospitalizations. To help answer employee questions, have established contacts your employees can turn to whenever they may need to.
- Host Lunch-and-Learns About Medical Care: Not all information may be obvious to your employees. Hosting lunch-and-learns is a more fun and interactive way to get information across to all employees. Consider bringing in a nurse to talk about when to call your own doctor, when to go to urgent care, when to go to emergency room and when to call 911, as well as the the importance of scheduling checkups, receiving immunizations and taking medicine as prescribed.
- Be flexible: When it comes to health insurance, nonemergencies are cheaper than emergencies for everyone involved. Make sure your employees know you support their health so they don’t wait until it’s a dire situation. Allow employees to use sick time or PTO specifically for scheduled doctors’ appointments or offer flexible scheduling so that employees can attend to appointments without dipping into their time off.
For more information, visit The Benefit’s Guide!