Even though most HR professionals believe health insurance is the most important benefit offered by their organization, they are often frustrated by the fact their employees have difficulty achieving maximum value from this benefit.

In addition to the wide range of plans and options offered by many organizations – HSAs, PPOs and HDHPs with flexibility in deductibles, co-insurance, co-pay and out-of-pocket expenses – there are newer options such as the digital healthcare transparency tools that many employees don’t even know about. Choosing the best plan and the best options for their personal situation can be frustratingly difficult.

Here’s a good example: A school superintendent needed help in getting employees to make use of their healthcare transparency tool – which helps them navigate to the best care and price options available.

The solution to this problem was the creation of a multimedia program for one-on-one meetings with employees that lasted less than half an hour. The program included an interactive model of using the transparency tool, but the pièce de  resistance was a video clip of the superintendent himself, who offered a personal example of why understanding and use of the transparency tool is so important. On this short clip he said,

                                          “My wife required a procedure, which I was told would cost $5,000 in our city. After a few                                                                                                       questions I found she could get the same procedure for about $1,600. After more investigation,                                                                                                 just questions really, we found the exact same procedure for $350. Wow, what a difference!”

A key to success of such off-cycle education meetings is personal interaction. It enables each employee to understand exactly what a benefit means to them and their family based on age, family needs, earnings, goals, job classification, and other factors. This particular example, including a video featuring a personal experience, really focused attention and improved retention. The investment required of HR was approval of the finished twenty-seven-minute program and supply of applicable census data – a worthwhile outlay for such a significant return on a benefits investment averaging over 30% of payroll.

Before the conclusion of each meeting, after all questions are answered, employees are able to further enhance their personal wellbeing by selecting a voluntary benefit chosen by their employer. A variety of benefits are available including some hard-to-get benefits such as long-term care. Explained in detail, these benefits are permanent, portable, payroll deducted and cost-free to their employer.

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