What attracts potential employees to your business? More than 75% of U.S. adults say that healthcare benefits strongly factor into their decision of where to work.[i] Sadly, many employees do not take advantage of the benefits available to them. Encouraging employee engagement with health benefits is an easy step towards better health for your employees and your organization.

Failing to use the benefits available to them can be particularly significant for working families facing serious medical issues, such as cancer or surgery. The end results of this failure are poorer health outcomes and higher employer and employee healthcare costs increases.

There are many reasons your employees may not use the benefits they have:

  1. Fear of Choosing Wrong

PayproAccording to a study by AFLAC, 46% spend 30 minutes or less on choosing a benefits package.[ii] This decision is stressful, partly because the cost of choosing wrong can be high.

  1. Unclear Options

A survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans indicates that more than 80% of organizations believe that employees clearly understand their benefit options.[iii] Choosing the wrong benefits package can be a costly mistake, to your employee’s finances and health.

  1. Benefits are Complicated

When your employees are facing multiple benefit options from multiple providers, it is overwhelming. Even if they have access to information that could help them, they are likely to give up and make a fast decision that may not be a smart decision. This leads to rising healthcare costs and poorer health.

  1. Lack of trust in benefit providers

Can you trust an insurance company to advise you on your health insurance? Many people feel like they cannot. It is difficult to know that the insurance provider actually has your best interests in mind. This makes them unlikely to seek out case management and other services that could be helpful.

Opportunities to enhance employee engagement

There are three key ways of encouraging employee engagement with health benefits. Addressing these issues can improve health outcomes for your employees and reduce healthcare costs.

  • Preventive opportunities

Taking steps to stop preventable health issues helps your employees be happier and healthier. Employer-sponsored programs such as stress management classes and fitness incentives are fun ways to make your business a better place to work.

  • Predictive opportunities

Many health issues and accidents can be predicted and prevented. The key to these opportunities is analyzing insurance claims to find patterns. These patterns can help you identify employees who may need extra support and resources.

  • Emergent opportunities

When one of your employees is hit with a serious medical issue like a cancer diagnosis or a surgical recommendation, it can be difficult for them to assess their treatment options objectively. When this happens, you have a chance to support your employees with health counseling services.

Success with any of these approaches depends on clear communication.

Encouraging employee engagement with health benefits pays off for both you and your employees. This issue deserves your attention.

 

 

[i] https://collectivehealth.com/insights/consumer-health-benefits-survey-2015/

[ii] http://workforces.aflac.com/download/pdf/overview/open-enrollment-guide.pdf

[iii] https://www.ifebp.org/aboutus/pressroom/releases/Pages/Spotlight-on-Employee-Benefits-Communication-for-Many-Organizations.aspx