Lowering Out-O-Pocket Healthcare Costs

5 Signs Employees Do Not Understand Their Benefits

When employees do not fully understand their employer-offered health benefits, it can be costly for both you, the employer, and the employee. A 2021 Voya survey found that around 35% of United States workers did not completely understand the benefits they selected in their 2021 open enrollment.

To determine whether your employees are struggling to understand and properly utilize their benefits, look for these five signs:

  1. Benefits are not being used. There are two main reasons why a benefit may go unused. The employee does not know how to best use their plan, or they forgot they have a particular benefit. The fear of improperly using a plan, leading to a surprise bill, prevents some individuals from taking advantage of their benefits. By providing year-round education, you can increase employee participation.
  2. Surprise bills are common. When employees do not understand their coverages, surprise bills occur, most likely due to utilizing out-of-network care. Networks can be confusing to understand, so it’s important that employees understand the differences between in- and out-of-network and their associated costs.
  3. Employees choose the wrong health plan. Employees should know what amount of coverage best suits their own and their family’s needs. Choosing a coverage that is too little or too much can become very costly. Encourages employees to look at their coverage from the previous year to determine if it was appropriate or if adjustments need to be made for the upcoming open enrollment.
  4. Human Resources is consistently fielding benefits questions. The Creative Benefits, Inc. ESR team is an excellent resource for all benefits-related questions. This department exists to keep your employees educated and works behind the scenes to solve issues. If your Human Resource team is constantly fielding benefits questions, then your employees most likely are not utilizing their ESR resource as efficiently as possible.
  5. Employees report feeling confused about their offerings. It’s important to have a pulse on how employees feel about the benefits you offer. Many employers rely on surveys to determine how effective and appreciated the offerings are. If your workers submit poor feedback, you may want to reconsider how you are educating employees on their benefits.


Employee benefits are ever-evolving, so it’s important to be vigilant in staying attuned to your employees’ needs and making the necessary adjustments to save all parties time, money, and frustration.