With so many variables going into choosing a health insurance plan, it’s no wonder making the right decision can seem daunting. A little confusion is inevitable, but there are ways to make sure your employees have a great open enrollment season. Here are some tips.
1. Help Set Employees’ Frame of Mind
It’s important to have the right mind-set for open enrollment. To combat employees’ lack of confidence to make the best health insurance plan choice, arm them with data. If your employees have access to their claims history, they can review how they used their health insurance benefits last year, and determine whether it actually fit their needs. Even if you only offer one plan, a solid foundation of data can take the guess work out of what to expect.
2. Use Real-Life Context
Combining real-life examples with decision support tools can make a substantial difference during enrollment. Provide short videos or Q&A flyers with real-life scenarios to explain their options in simple terms that they’ll understand. For example: If you choose this plan, it would mean you pay this amount every time you go to the doctor.
And while employees may not be able to predict future medical needs, decision support tools can help them think about any upcoming procedures they may be facing. Then put the plan choices in perspective to let them know how it might affect them. For example: If you choose this plan and have knee replacement surgery, this is what’s covered and how much you can expect to pay.
3. Highlight the Value
Employees need to understand the value they get from their benefits. Explain how the package contributes to their total compensation. This is your golden opportunity to highlight all the hidden dollars you are contributing to their financial well-being.
Additionally, let employees know how they can take control to lower their own costs. For example, if you offer incentives for participating in a wellness program, let employees know how to take advantage of it.
4. Educate and Communicate
More than ever before, employees are being asked to make significant decisions about health care for themselves and their families. It’s important to help them understand how health insurance works, and its benefits.
Instead of relying on only one communication channel to reach employees, consider using a variety of tools like e-mail, online channels and in-person meetings. Try communicating pieces of your benefits program throughout the year, which could improve the amount of information employees retain, as well as make open enrollment a smoother process. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska offers an enrollment guide to help our group clients promote open enrollment to their employees.