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5 Ways to Communicate About Benefits

benefit education

2 minute read

For the average person, understanding employee benefits can be confusing. UnitedHealthcare states that only 7% of individuals know what premium, deductible, and co-insurance are. According to the National Library of Medicine, it’s estimated that low health literacy costs between $106 billion - $238 billion annually.

Properly educating employees can help employers keep costs down and improve overall well-being. Here are 5 ways to help them be smarter benefit consumers.

 

1. Benefits 101

Insurance terminology can be confusing so start with the basics. Provide resources that discuss common terms, enrollment period restrictions, vesting schedules, etc. Providing a solid base knowledge will help employees maximize their benefits.

 

2. Showing the Benefit

Employees want to know why it’s worth learning about how their insurance works. How will they benefit in the long run? Understanding health benefits helps employees make smarter choices and save money. If an employee understands in-network and out-of-network and how they can look up procedural prices, they would be able to save themselves thousands of dollars in medical costs.

 

3. Communication Channels

Not all employees learn and comprehend in the same way so it’s important to vary your messaging. Messaging should include a variety of communication channels like email, letters, brochures, flyers, PowerPoints, etc. Using different formats can help reinforce benefit literacy among employees and capture their attention.

 

4. Continuous Education

Benefit education is something that should be communicated year-around and not just at enrollment time. Different benefit topics can be shared each month such as telemedicine, life event insurance changes, updating beneficiaries, when to visit the ER vs. urgent care, etc. Engaging employees throughout the year will remind them what’s offered and how they can take advantage. Many employers offer tools and resources online or through a benefit administration system where employees can access at any time.

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National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Erin Woulfe

Erin Woulfe

Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization, or providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”