With the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also commonly known as Obamacare) due to take effect January 2014 despite technical issues with the federal healthcare exchange website, many employers are reviewing their health insurance plans and switching to insurance policies that cost less while still adhering to the ACA.
Providing an affordable health insurance plan that offers the necessary benefits to your employees is a key aspect of workplace wellness. But did you realize that offering good health insurance is only one part of your responsibilities as an employer? In your role as a CEO or HR manager, you should also focus on educating your employees on their health insurance, especially if you are switching to a new policy or welcoming new workers.
You might think that providing literature about your health insurance plans is enough; however, in a survey of their health insurance benefits counselors, insurance company Colonial Life found that a shocking 69% of workers do not read about their health insurance benefits before completing enrollment, meaning they don’t know what benefits they have or what they cost. Clearly, you have to employ some of the tactics below to make sure your employees are well-informed about their health insurance.
How to Educate Your Workers on Their Health Insurance Plans
Host Required Health Insurance Informational Meetings
Before open enrollment on your health insurance plans, host a required informational meeting that explains the options offered by your company’s health insurance provider. Have your health insurance provider send a benefits counselor or other representative to explain the details and benefits of the plans in clear, easy-to-understand terms. It’s key that you make time in the work day and require employees to attend these health insurance meetings; the Colonial Life survey found that 58% of employees didn’t attend health insurance meetings sponsored by employees. Don’t make them optional — make sure that your employees are informed.
Provide Time to Meet With Health Insurance Benefits Counselors
The Colonial Life survey also showed that 81% of respondents felt the most common issue with employer-sponsored insurance is that workers assume they don’t need the benefits offered by their health insurance — and they make this choice without consulting a benefits counselor. Thus, to ensure your employees are informed and encourage health and wellness, you should provide ample time for your employees to meet with health insurance benefits counselors one-on-one. Make it easy for your employees to reach out and ask questions about the health insurance benefits you’re offering — host the benefits counselors on several workdays before enrollment, and remind employees about their presence.
Host a Workplace Wellness Fair
Holding a workplace wellness fair is another great way to educate your employees on their health insurance options. Invite healthcare providers that are in your health insurance network so that your employees can meet with them in person to discuss their services and treatment options. Your workers will get a chance to connect with the real medical professionals that they can visit under their health insurance. Perhaps hearing about the treatment options from the medical experts themselves will further help your employees understand the benefits offered by their health insurance.
If you need more help educating your workers on their health insurance policies or developing a workplace wellness program, contact ARCpoint Labs of Elk Grove Village at (888) 401-2129!