As the health care insurance marketplace continues to transition towards High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP), employees are taking on more responsibility for their own health care. This means it is critical that employers engage their employees effectively during this upcoming enrollment season. HDHPs have proven to not only lead to lower health care costs but increased user engagement, and overall better health. This outcome doesn’t just happen on its own, it is fueled by educated health care consumers, and that education starts at open enrollment.
Here are some tips your organization can follow as you gear up for this upcoming enrollment season:
Keep communications straightforward and simple
This is especially important in the first few communications you send out. Focus on getting the word out to your employees about what they have to do and the time frame in which they have to do it. Don’t weigh employees down with too many details right away, focus on getting them actionized, informed of their options, and moving down the enrollment path. When employees do want more information, be sure to include direction as to how they can easily find that information on their own.
Utilize many types of communication methods to reach your employees
It is important to remember that not everyone consumes messages in the same way. While some of your employees will prefer to receive messages via email, others may still prefer to receive their information mailed to their homes. While some prefer to read page after page of detailed materials, others may prefer more visually driven content that outlines the main points. The goal here is to make sure you are taking the important information and delivering it to your employee population in a variety of ways, making sure you grab the most attention possible.
Relate this decision process back to how it will benefit your employee and their family
Remember, at the heart of this decision is the health of your employee and their family, which is a top priority to them. As important as it is to illustrate how your employee can save money, it is just as important to illustrate how each plan can and will help them be healthier and more educated consumers.
Provide opportunities for your employee base to sit down with trained professionals
As much as your HR team can work to learn the details of each plan, they won’t have the time to become experts in every aspect of each plan. Sometimes it is better to have trained representatives come and sit down with your employees and answer their more specific questions. Most administrators would be happy to send one of their expert representatives to your work site to provide a more detailed presentation for you and your employees.
Continue engagement year-round
Open enrollment season might only come around once a year, but that doesn’t mean that education should stop there. Having your employee base absorb information all at once is a good way to overwhelm and disengage them. If you engage your employees year-round with a flow of important information, such as webinars, emails, and handouts, employees will have an easier time familiarizing themselves with the benefit plan that they have chosen at a pace that works for them.