Bridging the Health Insurance Knowledge Gap for Employees

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have and will continue to face adjustments to accommodate their employees’ needs. For instance, employees are increasingly aware of their healthcare coverage and the need to make the right elections to benefit their own physical, mental and financial well-being and that of their family members.

Employees eligible to enroll, especially young adults who may be electing their own health insurance for the first time, can be susceptible to making mistakes in choosing the best plan due to lack of education.

To bridge the education gap and create knowledgeable healthcare consumers, employers can implement the following:

  • Go back to basics — There is no one-size-fits-all plan. Go over co-pays, premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance and how each apply to healthcare utilization. If employees are unfamiliar with these terms, they may not understand the full impact of the decisions they are making, which may result in higher healthcare costs and a lack in sufficient coverage for themselves and their loved ones.
  • Communicate your plan’s network and preferred healthcare providers — Communicate the difference between in-network and out-of-network providers. Employees may not realize their insurance doesn’t cover healthcare services at every doctor’s office or pharmacy in their area; or the costly bills associated with utilizing out-of-network providers. Advise employees of their network and equip them with instructions on how to find participating providers nearby.
  • Walk them through all available resources included with their coverage — Ensuring your employees are aware of all available benefits and resources will ensure they are getting the most out of their coverage and healthcare dollars, and may even better their health and financial well-being. For example, provide information from your carrier partners surrounding mental health resources, employee assistance programs (EAPs), telemedicine services and more.

When employees are kept informed of and engaged in their employee benefits program, they are empowered to make thoughtful decisions that benefit not only themselves, but their family members as well. We recommend thoroughly reviewing all benefit options and ensuring educational resources are readily available to equip employees with confidence in making their upcoming benefit elections.

Information provided by Employee Benefit News.