Process requires robust education and decision support tools
The results of a recent Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) survey underscore the importance of employers providing adequate education and decision support tools when moving employees into a high-deductible health plan (HDHP).
They also reinforce the value of putting the resulting reductions in employees’ health care premiums into a health savings account (HSA). According to the survey: Nearly half (49%) of employees who participate in an HDHP and have at least some engagement contributed at least $1,500 to an HSA last year, versus 40% who do not demonstrate any engagement.
All about engagement
Nearly twice as many employees lacking health engagement made no contribution to an HSA versus those who were more engaged in their health (20% vs. 11%). EBRI classified as “engaged” those employees who performed at least one of nine tasks, such as 'checked whether my health plan would cover my care or medication' and 'talked to my doctor about other treatment options and costs.'
“When an employee moves from a traditional plan to a high-deductible plan, his cost will go down. That’s the time to encourage them not to pocket the difference, but put it instead in an HSA,” said Will Applegate, vice president of HSA sales for Fidelity Investments. “It speaks to the need for greater engagement.”
According to Fidelity’s research, up to 30% of employees don’t understand that HSA dollars can be saved for the long term. In response, Navera CEO Steve L. Adams said, “Education and decision support are especially critical elements when switching employees from traditional health plans to HDHPs with HSAs.
There are a variety of new technology-enabled benefits enrollment tools that provide engaging education and decision support, and make it easier for employees to make well-informed decisions about their benefits—without losing interest or energy in the process.
These interactive tools present information that’s personalized and relevant to the individual. Many have been created to replicate the experience of human enrollers without the time, expense, inconsistency, and other restrictions of face-to-face meetings.
To be worthwhile, technology-enabled enrollment tools need to present all the information for employees to make well-informed decisions in an easy-to-understand, compelling, and easily accessible manner. The employees’ interaction should be self-paced and driven by previous experience as well as the desire to learn more about specific products, including HSAs.
Additionally, these tools should enable workers to choose what they want to learn and the order in which they want to learn it, and provide the information in an engaging manner that inspires employees to learn more. Finally, the experience should be personally relevant, driven by the profile of employees and their families.”
Navera is a leading provider of a cloud-based benefits engagement service that enables consumers to select the healthcare and voluntary benefits that most closely match their needs. Headquartered in San Francisco, Navera takes a portfolio approach to benefits enrollment and provides users with an engaging and personalized consumer experience that provides a better understanding of benefit options and how they work together to provide the most complete and cost-effective coverage. Consumers are able to make confident, well-informed decisions while enjoying an informative and entertaining enrollment process. To learn more about Navera and the new 2014 Fall Release, please visit www.navera.com.