As Open Enrollment winds down and we prepare for the new plan year coverage to kick in, it’s a good time evaluate that your company and its employees are getting the most out of your coverage. Insurance can be tricky and hard to navigate, and we often overlook plan details and miss making our plans work harder for us.
Based on a report from 2016, the average spend per capita for employer sponsored insurance was $5,141 and $813 for out of pocket health care expenses. Additionally, the expenses for out-of-network coverage increased by 1.5% compared to previous years.
Educating employees on the best way to utilize their health care plan not only can save you money on claims, but can save employees money on their out-of-pocket medical expenses. Happier wallets all around.
Choose Smarter and Make Your Plan Work Harder
To ensure that your coverage plans are working best for you and your employees, here are some great tips and tricks to share.
- Choose the Right Plan- During open enrollment review all the plan details and ensure you are picking the right plan for you. To help employees pick the right plan, provide them with education or tools that can help guide them on what plans might be best for them at that point in their life. Remember a single person, who is young and healthy won’t need the same coverage as an employee looking to cover their family with young children.
- Understand the Plan You Choose- It comes back to education. Without providing all the necessary tools to understand the plan, employees can end up making a choice that’s not the best for their needs. Make sure to include information on how your plans work: deductibles, copays, out-of-pocket-max, if relevant HSAs, etc., in new-hire on-boarding, benefits booklets and/or Open Enrollment presentations. This will help guide existing employees and recent hires to make educated decisions with their plan selection.
- Have an Advocate Assist You- Sometimes navigating the healthcare system alone is just too much. Here at MBL Benefits Consulting, we offer health advocates to assist you and your employees with all their healthcare needs and inquiries. Having an additional voice and health warrior on your side can make all the difference.
- Stay In-Network- Try to always use in-network providers. Not only does this help reduce your costs, but also helps minimize the amount you are paying out of pocket. Be sure to help educate employees on the difference between in-network and out-of-network and provide education on how to find in-network providers. Pro-tip: in your benefits booklets or handbooks, add information on how to find a provider with your carrier alongside the medical benefits description.
- Try Prescriptions via Mail-Order- Consider encouraging employees to use mail-order for their prescriptions to help save money. Provide a one-sheeter on how to enroll. Not only will employees be happy with the cost savings, so will your finance team.
- Use Your Discounts- If the health carrier you provide has wellness discounts, such as gym reimbursements, be sure to push this information out to employees. Knowing they can saving money by being healthy will be an extra incentive for good behavior.
Consider sending an email blast sharing these tips with your employees, or creating a one-sheeter to help individuals better navigate the health plan they select. Being transparent and providing all the necessary information goes a long way.