Employees value companies that offer health insurance, and as such these benefits can be a great tool both for recruiting and retaining the very best talent. Explaining healthcare benefits to employees however is vital. Employees need to understand the nuts and bolts of the benefits to really 'get' the value of what they are being offered.
In fact, a recent survey by Monster found that “even if employees don’t have a particularly good benefits package, those who say they received quality education about the benefits they are offered are far more likely to consider their employer a very good place to work.”
So, how can you help employees understand health benefits and increase the ROI of your company’s investment? Here are some tips to help you get started.
Ensure That Your Employees Know What They Are Getting
Perhaps you already do this, but many companies do not, and many employees are uneducated or confused about their company-provided health benefits.
Only 33 percent of employees ranked their company’s benefit education as excellent or very good, and yet a closer look at was actually on offer in many cases revealed that often the opinions of those who were less impressed with their health benefits were formed because they just did not know the full scope of the offering.
Handing out literature and handbooks from the health insurance company is fine, but as those do tend to be long and cumbersome, with lots of fine print, don't expect that too many of your busy employees will actually do more than skim them briefly. Take the extra time to explain the benefits yourself.
Communicate with Employees Throughout the Year
Lots of companies only talk about the healthcare benefits they offer during the few weeks around open enrollment, but this is a mistake. The better way to to do things is to communicate with employees heavily in the months and weeks leading up to open enrollment but also periodically throughout the year.
As you educate employees about their health benefits throughout the year, offer little tips and advice. These will increase their health benefits IQ (making them smarter healthcare consumers) and remind them of the great benefit your company offers.
Communicate in a Variety of Ways
The resources you provide while explaining healthcare benefits to employees will have a big impact on how well they understand their benefits, but don’t assume that a one-size-fits-all approach will do the trick.
Everyone learns and consumes information in different ways. Therefore, to try to ensure that everyone is getting the message, offer information in a variety of different ways; videos, pamphlets, emails, company lunches, etc. Think outside of the box; your unique ideas may be the best way to help employees understand.
Ensure That You Know What's On Offer Too
Health insurance companies are coming up with new initiatives all the time. Advances in healthcare technology are leading to a rise in telemedicine, to the return of the doctor who makes healthcare, to partnerships with major players like Apple and Google to help both increase employee wellness and cut costs and much more.
However, if you don't keep up with the news about new offerings your employees are unlikely to know about them either and you could all be missing out. Take a few minutes a day to check the news, make a call to your health insurance brokerage to ask what's new, actually read those emails from the insurer, check this blog. The more you know the more you can share with your employees and that can only be a good thing for all involved.