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Educating your employees on how to use their health plans should be a key component of any benefits communication strategy — and not just during open enrollment. Ongoing communication can help curb the rising costs of care and save money for the employer. It can also demonstrate your organization’s commitment to employee wellness and create a positive perception of your employee value proposition (EVP).

A recent article from HR Brew highlighted the underuse of preventive and primary care, and the role of incentives in encouraging employees to buck this trend. However, financial incentives aren’t the only way to help people make informed health care choices. Employee communications can also play a starring role in promoting benefits awareness and self-care.

Most health plans offer employees a range of preventive care services at no cost as long as they use in-network providers. These services include well-woman and well-child visits, birth control, immunizations, certain health screenings and annual physicals.

The problem is that many people don’t understand their health plans and how to best use them for their needs. The same holds true for using tax savings from health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts to reduce the cost of care.

The business case for helping employees understand health plans boils down to this:

  • Employers have spent over 5% more on health benefits in 2023 than in the prior year.
  • Employer contribution to premiums stands at a whopping $11,762 per employee (Marsh McLennan).

Employees are also feeling the pain of rising costs, and skimping on medical treatment:

  • An estimated 74% of millennials and 56% of Gen Z canceled doctors’ visits.
  • 38% of Americans overall put off medical care in 2023 because of the costs (Marsh McLennan).

Helping employees get the care they need is important to the performance of your business and your bottom line.

Improving communication around benefits and employee wellness enables your company to decrease expenses associated with their underuse while also driving productivity. It can stop a small problem from becoming a big one. And it can also stop a serious condition from going untreated. Productive employees are engaged at work and mentally and physically healthy for their jobs.

Communication is a great way to help employees become informed consumers of health care. You can also pair education with a technology platform such as Evive Health to send targeted messages encouraging employees on your health plan to take small steps toward better health. After all, there is a big difference between “It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and “It’s time to get your mammogram. Here’s your doctor’s number to schedule an appointment.” These benefit nudges bring your EVP to life and remind employees your organization cares about them and their families. In short, they give employees additional reasons to make your organization their employer of choice.

Is your organization looking for ways to promote employee wellness?

Are you trying to improve your employee value proposition (EVP)?

Do you need to help employees understand and make smart use of their benefits?

JPL can help you create communication plans and strategies that increase employee performance. Reach out at [email protected].




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