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6 Ways to Improve Benefits Implementation and Utilization

You’ve spent time implementing your company’s new benefits package, worked alongside your benefits administrator to create an excellent communications plan, but 3 to 6 months into the plan year, you are getting a lot of questions. What’s going on?

Employees focus so much on the enrollment process, impact to their paycheck, etc., that only once they start utilizing the plan do all their questions arise. It’s possible they’ve forgotten about the protection of out of pocket limits, how to access virtual visits or that your broker has offered to help with general questions about the plans as well as service and claim issues. Luckily, there are strategies employers can implement to help guide employees through understanding the value of their benefits and how to properly utilize them any time of year.

A recent MetLife Annual Survey stated that when employees are supported as individuals, they are more engaged. With unemployment rates at an all-time low, attracting, engaging and retaining employees should remain a top priority for employers. Providing strategic benefits guidance remains a critical strategy in positioning HR and benefits administrators as trusted workforce advisors.

Here are 6 tips to improve implementation and utilization of benefits, all while engaging your employees:

  1. Employee Education:

    Offer several forms of communications that are tailored to your unique workforce. Consider a multigenerational approach and one that provides company-wide updates as well as avenues for one-on-one questions.

  2. Provide Examples:

    Did you know that 80 percent of Americans typically enroll in a health plan that is not appropriate for their needs? Providing examples of scenarios that might apply to your workforce will help them paint a picture of the benefits plan that might work best for them. When offering multiple plans, consider showing:

    • Comparison of the total maximum out of pocket costs
    • Sample claim examples illustrating the impact to the member out of pocket costs
  3. Provide a Glossary:

    Don’t expect your entire workforce to understand the meaning of the often complicated insurance language. Provide a glossary of terms to help your employees understand their offerings.

  4. Utilize Carrier Tools:

    Identify and leverage the existing information from the online tools provided by insurance carriers. Many younger generations prefer to utilize online technology when accessing their healthcare, so encouraging the use of existing online tools will improve their overall engagement with their healthcare benefits.

  5. Serve Reminders:

    Providing reminders throughout the year on employee benefits’ coverage and incentives is a great way to stay in front of your workforce. Simple reminders such as preventive care that is covered 100% and/or the cost of urgent care vs. emergency rooms are great examples.

  6. Encourage Wellbeing:

    Even if you don’t offer a formal wellness plan most carriers offer a wealth of information and some even offer incentives.

To learn more about employee benefits implementation and utilization, contact your OneDigital Strategist today, and check out the article: Guiding Patients Through the Healthcare System.