Every year, health care insurance providers set an “open enrollment” period for employees to examine their health benefit offerings and make changes. Is this the only engagement you have with your employees about their health care? Research shows there is a significant cost-savings to a business when employees become educated in their role as health care consumers and make wise decisions on how to use their benefits.
In order to improve your employees’ use of their benefit plans, a smart idea is to promote some of those services. It’s not enough to spend 30 to 45 minutes per year handing out enrollment packets, saying, “Here are the changes,” and “Good luck.”
You also have to tailor the presentation to the demographic: For example, Generation X and Y often prefer email, and links to websites so they can do their own research. Baby Boomers will appreciate an 800-number to call or face-to-face meetings.
Employers are smart to go over more than just annual changes. Make sure your staff knows how to be smart consumers of medical care, such as how to maximize pharmacy coverage by choosing generic drugs when possible. Educate employees on how to get the best values in imaging and X-ray services.
Teach your staff how to take control and manage their health from a proactive point of view. Often the biggest cost to a business comes from preventable conditions such as diabetes and obesity. A lot of these health problems can be addressed a lot sooner, and prevented with practices such as annual exams, diet changes and exercise programs. Keep your employees one step ahead of medical crises and you will see your costs drop.