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Open Enrollment Finished? Now the challenge to keep employee benefits visible, understood, & valued throughout the year!

February 7, 2020

You have spent a great deal of time implementing your company’s employee benefits program, and been successful with an excellent communication plan of open enrollment options. Now 2-3 months into the plan year, you are getting lots of questions. What’s happening?

During open enrollment, employees often focus to much on completing the enrollment process timely, making the once a year “right plan choice” and weighing the financial impact to their paycheck. Only when they start utilizing the plan do the real questions regarding understanding how to use the plan surface. Out of pocket limits, which benefits do not apply to the deductible, how to access that new virtual office consult benefit by phone or video, what is that EOB that comes in the mail, and how your broker offers individualized help to explain plan details or look into benefit claims issues has been forgotten or never fully understood by your employees.

Fortunately, there are easy to implement strategies employers can put in place to help guide employees to truly and consistently value their benefits throughout the year by ensuring that your benefits are simple to use, easy to understand, and provide a positive plan experience for them and their family members. Here are several tips to engage your employees and improve valued proper utilization of your benefits program:

1.Employee Education throughout the year

Tailor several forms of communication tailored to how your workforce is uniquely & currently using benefits, including a multi-generational approach. It should also provide consistent company-wide benefit updates, as well as convenient opportunities for one-on-one questions.

2.Provide easy to access Examples

75-80 percent of employees typically enroll in a health plan that is not appropriate for their needs. Did you know that by providing examples of different benefit scenarios that apply to your specific workforce helps to paint a clearer picture of the benefits plan that might work best for them. Offer multiple plans with a ranges of different benefits, providing a comparison of the total maximum out of pocket costs and sample claim examples illustrating the impact to the member out of pocket costs with each plan.

3.Provide an easy to understand Glossary

Yes, insurance is often like rocket science with a complicated language that some of your workforce may struggle to understand. Providing an easy to access glossary of terms written in plain English, available through an online benefits portal, company website, or handout will help your employees better understand the offerings of your benefits.

4.Utilize Carrier Tools

Most insurance carriers have online tools that provide an excellent source of information-help your employees identify, get access to, and leverage this existing information. In today’s workplace, many employees prefer to utilize online technology when accessing their healthcare, so encouraging and reminding the use of existing online tools improves the overall engagement they have with their healthcare benefits.

5.Provide consistent Benefit Reminders

Providing reminders throughout the year on your employee benefits’ coverage and incentives is a great way to keep benefits valued and in front of your employees. Simple reminders such as preventive care that is covered at 100% or the cost-savings of urgent care versus an emergency room visit are excellent examples. In addition, even if you don’t offer a formal wellness plan, consistent flow of useful benefit info empowers employees to fully utilize a healthcare plan, increasing its value and actually encouraging employee Wellbeing.

With unemployment rates at an all-time low, attracting, engaging and retaining the right employees remains a top priority for employers. To learn more about providing strategic employee benefits guidance throughout the year that will position your company as a top employer of choice, contact us here today.