by WEX Health
Getting geared up for open enrollment? Organizations everywhere are reviewing benefit offerings and preparing their process for this annual fall ritual. Employers are seeking to balance their healthcare spend with providing the support their diverse workforce needs.
A key strategy that remains popular with organizations is offering consumer directed health plans (CDHP). These plans are often paired with a health savings account or a flexible spending account. The percentage of employees enrolling in HDHPs has been increasing steadily over the past five years. Driving the trend, is the savings employees see with the average monthly paycheck deduction for individual-only coverage in a HDHP at about $90, compared to $140 for a PPO plan.
Employers are also looking at other health-related programs that can positively affect the cost and quality of care their employees receive. Organizations striving to personalize the consumer experience for workers need to emphasize the choices that are available during this year’s open enrollment.
Companies may want to put together communication that helps employees understand how their choices impact their costs. Additionally, organizations need to spread the word regarding money-saving benefits and services that can be utilized throughout the year. Here are a few considerations employees need to know about:
Highlight any preferred facilities or Centers of Excellence your organization uses, especially if the company will pick up a greater share of the bill if these are used. Employees requiring, transplants, fertility services, cancer care, knee or hip replacement need to plan ahead and consider using a preferred site.
Many mid-size organizations, and most large one are promoting telehealth services. Employers with a telehealth benefit should explain that an after-hour ER visit can cost up to $700 in out of pocket expenses, compared to a $40-$60 telehealth visit, according to the National Business Group on Health. Encourage workers to register for the service at open enrollment time, so they won’t have to waste time when they’re sick and need to use the benefit.
If your organization offers incentives for health risk assessment completion, participation in weight-loss or smoking cessation programs or other workplace wellness activities make sure to highlight consistently and frequently the rewards employees can earn.
Source: Money. Pick the Best Health Plan. October 2016. PP31-33.