Posted April 3, 2017
Shopping for an item in the store can be frustrating if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for and where to find it. The experience can be even more challenging if you can’t find a store associate to help you. Many employees feel the same way when selecting health care benefits plans. The wording and coverage options can be confusing.
Here are three ways to help employees find the right health benefits:
- Take a family health inventory – Employees should make a list of the expected health needs for the upcoming benefits year, such as:
- Medical procedures and tests
- Prescription medications
- Dental services, including orthodontia, crowns and implants
- Vision exams, prescription contacts or eyeglasses
- Hearing tests and aids
Identify whether new dependents will need coverage during the year, so they receive health benefits.
- Evaluate benefits choices and costs – Most people spend 30 minutes or less reviewing their benefits options. They are unfamiliar with the insurance language and coverage choices.
Information can be simplified by using the following tips:
- Use boxes, charts and illustrations to help navigate through the decision process.
- Highlight insurance premiums, copays and out-of-pocket costs. These are important figures considered when evaluating benefits that fit into budgets.
- Break down finances into understandable examples, such as daily or weekly costs.
- Review benefits plans to ensure current providers are listed. If not, members will need to switch providers or be willing to pay extra for out-of-network care.
- Consider ancillary plans – Dental, vision and hearing benefits help employees and their dependents head off health problems. Many serious medical problems can be detected during regular exams, which may help lower health expenses during the year. If these benefits are included in medical insurance plans, make sure employees understand that only preventive services may be covered until the deductible is reached. Since employees and family members tend to use dental and vision benefits frequently throughout the year, stand-alone coverage may be a better choice.
- Offer a student loan repayment benefit. This new benefit is quickly becoming popular with employers and employees. With more than 40 million people carrying student load debt, this benefit offers a solution to help ease employees’ financial burdens. It also helps employers recruit and retain talented employees
Don’t forget to check into benefits rewards programs offered by carriers. Learn more about the value of these plans.