Health insurance is one of the biggest-ticket items in any company’s benefits package, and the cost of health insurance rises on average each year.
Companies spend a lot of money, time, and effort to have competitive benefits and provide quality health insurance plans to employees. But not enough time is spent educating employees about their available options and helping them navigate what those options mean for them and their families.
A recent Business News Daily article highlights the importance of educating employees about their health insurance benefits, and not clearly understanding what their health insurance plan covers until they find themselves at the doctor’s office or hospital isn’t ideal. You give your employees an advantage when you inform and empower them to make decisions about the best coverage and treatment options.
Why health insurance is a stressful topic for employees
Health insurance can be complicated, and the differences between plans can often be subtle.
- People fear making a “wrong” decision that they’ll regret, usually after their health situation changes or a medical emergency and when they need their health insurance more than ever.
- There’s a lot of anxiety about the unknown. If someone doesn’t have a strong understanding of how a certain health insurance plan works, they may not even be sure what they signed up for when a health matter arises.
- Everyone wants to make intelligent financial choices. No one wants a surprise negative financial impact, especially during a health issue.
Much employee stress arises when health insurance plans change unexpectedly, especially when scaled back. For instance, maybe employees now have to pay more out of pocket, or their trusted, long-time physician is no longer in-network under the new plan.
Employers must take these concerns about health insurance seriously. After all, companies want:
1. Explain everything thoroughly during new-hire orientation
Don’t rush through the discussion about health insurance or just briefly mention it as part of a larger benefits package. Use this opportunity when employees are brand-new to your company, eager to learn, and you have their attention to describe in detail the health insurance plans your company offers.
2.Provide employees with contacts and resources
Provide them a list with the most appropriate people and resources to assist with employee questions about health care coverage.
3.Make information available 24/7
Have a secure online portal that contains everything employees want to know about their benefits, including health insurance. A portal houses all this information in one central location, where it’s available any time.
4.Deliver ongoing education
Employee education about health insurance doesn’t end at orientation. There will constantly be evolving personal circumstances, plan updates, and a changing regulatory landscape to prompt new questions.
It’s essential to communicate regularly, especially about:
- Open enrollment
- Upcoming changes to health insurance plans
- Personalized reminders for employees to take certain actions
- Educational opportunities related to health insurance
If changes to health insurance plans are coming, get out in front of them with as much advance notice as possible, so employees don’t feel caught off guard. Implement a communications campaign to give employees numerous opportunities to understand the changes and how they will affect them.
Cosmo Insurance Agency is a full-service independent insurance agency based in Hackensack (Bergen County) and Lakewood (Ocean County), New Jersey that offers an all-encompassing range of insurance options for both individuals and businesses. Cosmo keeps its promise to assure an efficient and creative approach to the services we offer. Each of our clients experience a personalized and long-term relationship with us. Our New Jersey based team of health brokers guides our clients in helping them choose the most cost-effective options. By incorporating our knowledge of the insurance guidelines for healthcare, employee benefits, life insurance, self-insurance, dental, disability, and long term care insurance, we keep our clients up-to-date with affordable plans that cover all their specific insurance needs.