Open enrollment can be a time of stress for employees and employers. Several months ahead of the health insurance renewal, the employer must evaluate industry trends, changes in the corporate structure, carrier/plan options, employee cost sharing strategy and then implementation.
Employees are waiting to learn about the changes they will be presented at renewal. Employee concerns will include:
- Will their insurance cost increase?
- Can they afford the increase?
- What about changes to the plan or moving to a new insurance company?
- Will their financial exposure increase?
- Will their doctor be in the network?
- Will their prescription drugs be covered?
Employee education and understanding of the plans offered is critical. Offering employees a choice of plans, increases employee satisfaction versus being forced into a one-size fits all plan.
If the employee does not understand the benefits, they may have a medical charge they were not expecting. Anytime an employee is disgruntled, they share their concern with other employees and corporate moral is affected.
Educating employees is critical to the success of the employer’s investment in the health insurance. If employees understand the plan options, are comfortable with the HR administrator and health insurance agent, if they know they will have their questions answered in a timely manner and that answer is correct, they are much more appreciative of the benefits provided by the employer.
Victoria J. Braden
Braden Benefit Strategies, Inc.