Educating your employees about their health insurance and benefits should not stop with open enrollment. In fact, year-round communication boosts awareness about key issues, increases employee satisfaction, and decreases healthcare costs. Braden Benefit Strategies regularly provides our clients with effective, timely communication, designed to keep their employees informed.
According to Gallup, “When employees are pleased with their benefits education, they are also more likely to be pleased with their benefits package, happy with their workplace and engaged in their work. And when they’re engaged in their work, the company’s performance shows it” (State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders, 2013).
This Gallup study reports that “81 percent of employees who rated their benefits education highly also gave high marks to their employers, while only 23 percent of employees who did not rate their benefits education as satisfactory, had a positive opinion of their company.”
Healthcare industry expert, John Leifer states in a Biz Journal article: “Research demonstrates that uninformed patients are less likely to use preventive services and manage their conditions while being more likely to have unnecessary hospital admissions or visits to the emergency department.” Read the full article here.
The truth is, “more care” isn’t necessarily “better care.” Sometimes patients receive tests they may have already had, treatments that haven’t been proven to work, and even unnecessary hospital stays. According to the RAND Corporation, on average, one-third or more of all procedures performed in the U.S. appear to be inappropriate or offer questionable benefit.
The Institute of Medicine’s 2011 study, The Healthcare Imperative: Lowering Costs and Improving Outcomes, found that healthcare costs (and therefore health insurance premiums) could be lowered by 30 percent, just by eliminating unnecessary medical procedures.
Medications are a high cost driver. Certainly, we want employees and their dependents to have the medications they need to maintain and improve their health. At the same time, we want employees to be conscientious consumers. Ongoing communication reminds your employees of the different prescription options available.
Prescription drug pricing
Many employees pay a prescription drug copay and therefore are not aware of the actual cost of a medication. This is where education and continuous communication promote educated spending.
One of the apps we ask employees to use before purchasing any medication and preferably before leaving the doctor’s office, is GoodRx. This app provides a list of local pharmacies where specific medications can be purchased, and the cash cost of the medication.
Choosing a physician
Another topic employees need to be educated about is how to choose a physician. Many healthcare consumers say they find their healthcare providers based on the recommendation of a friend or acquaintance. Unfortunately, the people making these recommendations generally do not have data or statistics to back-up their suggestions. A better source of referrals for specialty medical care is to talk to your primary care physician.
Here are a five top websites that rate physicians:
There are other important education topics as well. The bottom-line is that effective ongoing communication plays a huge role in helping employees understand how to make more informed medical decisions, which will in turn control health insurance premiums.
The administration of a company’s benefits is complex. Most companies get through open enrollment and put benefits out of their mind until the next open enrollment, simply because they don’t have the time or resources to deal with it themselves. Trouble is, not dealing with it can lead to employee malaise and all kinds of stress.
What’s the solution? Let Braden Benefit Strategies handle your employee communication for you. Our pro-active approach can take pressure off your system and increase employee engagement.
Think about this: Employers spend a large amount of time and money to create an employee benefit package. To maximize this work, employers must effectively and consistently communicate the benefits to their employees. When your employees value their benefits and appreciate your cost-sharing contribution, your benefit program is going to be more successful.
Braden Benefits takes the stress off your human resource department and administrative staff by providing you with effective and relevant information that is electronically-delivered and ready for employee distribution.
We use a variety of communication delivery mediums including:
- Entertaining employee enrollment meetings with one-on-one follow-up.
- Webinars for employees who miss enrollment meetings, live outside of Georgia, or are new hires.
- Employee booklets.
- Enrollment videos incorporated into an electronic enrollment site.
- Enrollment conformation statements.
- Year-round website access where employees can confirm enrollment decisions and related costs.
- 24/7 phone availability to employees to use in a crisis situation.
We provide our clients with regular communication that is ready for employee distribution to keep your employees informed of their benefits. Communication planning and delivery are critical to employee satisfaction. Delete what is in yellow.
Our communication, enrollment tools, and services enable employees to understand, utilize and value their benefit programs. Our clients use the following video to educate their employees on how to use our electronic enrollment system at open enrollment.
Using customized benefits education and engagement strategies, educating employees about their health and wellness helps reduce risk factors such as obesity and smoking, and this can result in lower healthcare costs and lower health insurance premiums.