According to UnitedHealthcare’s 2018 Consumer Sentiment Survey, 77% of respondents with health benefits said they felt prepared to select their health plan during the upcoming open enrollment. When looking at the different generations in the workforce, 81% of Baby Boomers felt prepared as well as 80% of Gen Xers. However, the Millennials reported feeling the least certain of the three generations with only 69% reporting that they are prepared.
While employees say they feel prepared, their actions might speak louder than words. 42% of employees reported that they only spend less than an hour each year researching available plan options. 29% said that they spend between one to three hours, and 20% spend more than three hours. Most respondents (67%) said they research if the doctors they already are using are in-network for the plan they intend to select.
It is no secret that technology continues to play an increasing role in your employee’s lives and that holds true for how employees evaluate their health care options. More than a third of respondents (36%) said that they have used the internet or a mobile app to compare health care services (51% when it came to Millennials), and 84% of those employees found the experience to be helpful. Utilizaing technology when communicating about open enrollment can help you to reach each employee in a way that they prefer.
Do you feel your employees are ready? If not, here are a few ways to educate and prepare them:
- Start early! Give your employees ample time to research and understand their options.
- Create a benefits cheat sheet to simplify the information.
- Communicate changes and why they are important.
- Over-communicate your open enrollment timeline.
- Communicate using various methods (in-person meetings, video conferencing, emails etc.).
- Plan meetings before and during open enrollment.
- Bring spouses into the equation. Communicate with them directly or host an after hours meeting they can attend.
- Bring in a representative from your insurance provider. Allow employees to talk to them and get answers directly.