3 Reasons to Add an Interactive Benefits Decision Support Tool to This Year’s Budget NOW

Mark Rader Benefits Communication

There’s never been a more urgent need for great benefits communication than right now.

Health care gets more complicated every year. Employees continue to feel confused and make bad decisions. And, unfortunately, the annual gauntlet of benefits guides, emails, presentations, and videos isn’t solving the problem.

According to these recent studies:

  • 86% of Americans don’t understand the most basic insurance concepts.*
  • 90% of Americans just default to last year’s benefits and contribution amounts, whether that’s good for them or not.**
  • And 80% of employers struggle to get employees to even read their materials†

Yikes!

To solve this nagging problem, more and more companies every year are making the leap into interactive benefits decision support tools (yes, like ALEX). Maybe you’ve been thinking about it too.

If so, here’s the thing: if you wait until after your plan design and strategy is in place to think seriously about making a change for the better (as a lot of benefits teams do), you’ve waited too long. That’s why it’s so important to budget for next year’s benefits communication tools right now, before the start of a new year.

To get that budget, you might need to explain why it’s a good investment. If so, you’re in luck! Not only do interactive benefits support tools like ALEX make employees happier, and more likely to make smarter, more cost-effective decisions, they can work wonders in boosting your company’s bottom line. Here, then, are three great business reasons to make the leap in 2018:

#1. They pay for themselves…and then some

Not only can interactive benefits communication tools cut travel, mailing and printing costs, they help employees understand the differences between plan choices. And when employees get that, they’re way more likely to choose plans that save them AND their employers money. (The average amount employers over-spend for every employee on the wrong plan is between $500 and $2,100.††)

Also, because interactive benefits communication tools explain the value of FSAs and HSAs better than anything on the market, they motivate employees to contribute more…which also saves their employers money in the form of fewer payroll taxes. (Considering the employer payroll tax rate is 7.65%, getting a workforce of 1,500 people to contribute just $10 more per paycheck into their HSA or FSA would save your company almost $29,000.)

#2. They can save your benefits team time and hassle

Specifically, tools like ALEX allow you to:

  • Reduce how often you give benefits presentations (if not cut them altogether)
  • Stop driving all over the joint to give those presentations
  • Spend the time you save not answering the same questions over and over doing something more fun. Like playing CandyCrush. Or taking a power nap.

#3. They can help you retain top talent

The benefits you offer your employees are a HUGE factor in how happy they are, and how likely they are to stick around. According to a 2016 Aflac Workforces report:

  • 72% of employees say a benefits package offering is extremely or very important to their job satisfaction
  • 64% say a benefits package is extremely or very important to their employer loyalty
  • 41% say improving the benefits package is one thing their employer could do to keep them in their jobs

If you’re thinking ‘Sweet! Our benefits are great! WE HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!’…not so fast.

If your employees don’t understand their benefits are great (say, because your benefits communication doesn’t explain that well) they’re not going to appreciate them–or the company behind them–nearly as much as they should. Which could lead to some talented folks deciding to jump ship.

*2013 Journal of Health Economics

**2015 Aflac Study

† 2016 IFEBP study

††2016 Aon Hewitt enrollment study


Can’t wait to dig into more ALEX stuff until then? Check out:

Blog Post: 6 Tips on Conducting an OE Post-Mortem That Gets Results (and Doesn’t End in Tears)
eBook: Curing Benefits Bewilderment
Blog Post: 6 Memes About Open Enrollment That’ll Make You Smile