Enhancing Employee Health Plan Literacy: Key Tactics for Success

Oct 26, 2023

IBA, as the premier business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, is firmly established as a respected professional service firm in the legal, accounting, banking, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and financial planning communities.  Periodically, we will post guest blogs from professionals with knowledge to share for the good of owners of privately held companies & family owned businesses. The following blog article has been provided by Frank Mengert, founder of ebm, (https://getebm.com/):

Enhancing Employee Health Plan Literacy: Key Tactics for Success

Navigating the intricate terrain of healthcare benefits for employees can be intimidating for employers. Awareness of the newest trends, understanding the best ways to present and communicate benefits, and confirming that employees understand their choices is critical.

However, effective education ensures employees make more informed decisions about their healthcare plan options. And by creating a helpful and “employee-first” approach to healthcare literacy, employers can help employees feel more in control of their own health and more secure in their role within the organization.

Set Clear Program Objectives and Enhance Benefit Offerings

The first step to building an effective employee education program is clearly outlining the goals and benefit provisions. This involves clearly understanding the healthcare benefits, determining eligibility, and any requirements for their usage. Also, it’s essential to acknowledge any constraints or limitations that might apply to particular plans or options.

While considering the program’s objectives, it’s worthwhile to consider how health plans can be integrated with employee benefits like retirement savings and disability insurance. This approach assists employees in grasping the full value of their benefits package.

Provide Training Sessions

Delivering thorough and engaging training is important for employees to clearly understand their health plan options. Sessions should be interactive, promoting a safe space for questions. The training should be comprehensive, covering topics like passive enrollment, eligibility, and plan specifics.

Employers might also supplement in-person sessions with online resources like webinars and videos to accommodate varying schedules.

Training can extend beyond health plans to include dental, vision, and financial planning benefits. Ultimately, the objective is to ensure employees comprehend their benefits and how to utilize them optimally.

Ensure Employees Have Easy Access to Resources

Besides thorough training sessions, employers should try to provide readily available resources to employees. This includes a comprehensible summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) document that explains health plan options in plain language. Providing links to pertinent websites or contacts for inquiries is also helpful.

By offering these resources, employers can ensure employees stay informed about their health plans, reducing confusion and guesswork when making healthcare decisions.

A practical approach is setting up an online portal where employees can find information about their health plan options. This centralized platform makes it easier for them to locate necessary documents, eliminating the need for physical copies or expensive printed materials.

Leverage Technology and Automation

Utilizing technology and automation can enhance the efficiency of educating employees about health plan options. Automating tasks like enrollment or eligibility checks saves time and minimizes errors, ensuring information is always current and correct.

Technology can also facilitate personalized advice on health plan options. Employers could use predictive analytics to provide customized healthcare plan suggestions based on factors like an employee’s age, gender, lifestyle, or location, offering the most pertinent and useful coverage guidance.

Not only does technology streamline the education process, but it also improves engagement with employee benefits programs. For instance, employers can incentivize employees with perks such as discounts or rewards for utilizing their health plan options, thereby increasing usage rates and encouraging employees to leverage their benefits fully.

Conduct Regular Employee Pulse Checks

Regular employee pulse checks should be a priority for employers throughout the year. These checks aid in assessing if employees are utilizing their health plan options and comprehending their benefits while shedding light on areas needing more education or resources.

Pulse checks can be conducted via surveys, interviews, or focus groups. These platforms allow employers to gauge overall satisfaction with health plan options and assess if employees have sufficient information to make educated decisions about their coverage.

Continuity is key when it comes to pulse checks. Frequent touchpoints ensure employees remain informed about their health plan options and how to use them effectively. Moreover, they enable employers to spot potential issues with their benefits programs, allowing them to take corrective measures promptly.

Enhance the Benefits of Education of Your Employees

Employers should aim to enhance the education of their employees on health plan options. This increases understanding and promotes usage, helping employers realize strong ROI from their benefits programs. By showcasing the value of their health plans through effective employee benefits communication, employers can motivate employees to use their benefits more often and take advantage of the coverage offered.

Frank Mengert continues to find success by spotting opportunities where others see nothing. As the founder and CEO of ebm, a leading provider of employee benefits solutions. Frank has built the business by bridging the gap between insurance and technology driven solutions for brokers, consultants, carriers, and employers nationwide.

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, accounting, legal, and financial planning communities on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family-owned businesses.  IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.