Just 10% of employers think workers understand their health plans
- Just 10% of employers believe workers understand their health plans, according to a new HSA Bank white paper. The report, "Are your employees selecting the right health plan?," focuses on how employees select their health plans and how they comprehend them.
- The report provides employers with insights revealing why employees choose plans that don't provide them the best benefits, how they can help workers to assess health plans to make the best choice, and how employers can help workers during the plan selection process.
- HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank, said employees might choose the wrong plans because they are uncertain about plan cost-sharing amounts, fear high deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums, or lack a plan evaluation.
A communication gap about benefits continues to trip up workers. Back in 2016, Employee Benefits News found that while 80% of workers said they understand their benefits, only 49% did. It seems the problem persists.
While some benefits are more straight-forward than others and are easier to understand, health plans are complex and prone to sowing confusion. Cited in polls as the most important benefit to employees — and the costliest — health plans must be understood before they can be selected, meaning employers need to ensure their workers have the tools to make informed decisions.
Good healthcare coverage brings a big boost to retention; 56% of employees in an America's Health Insurance Plans study said they stuck with their current job because of the health care benefits they received. Still, for employees to know whether their plans meet their needs, they must first understand them.
With healthcare coverage being employees' most important and costliest benefit with retention advantages, employers must step up their communication efforts. Technology allows organizations to reach more workers through text messaging, emailing, teleconferencing or face-to-face contact. Whichever means employees prefer, 24-hour access is a must. Open enrollment is no longer the best or only time to communicate benefits to employees.