Imagine going to a fancy new restaurant and being presented with a 20-page menu. Oh, and it’s all food you don’t eat regularly with ingredients you don’t know how to pronounce. The waitstaff keeps circling your table asking, ‘Are you ready to order yet?’ You scan each page looking for clues to help you decide quickly. Does anything look familiar, or is there a picture that can help you decide? You want to choose an entrée you’ll enjoy, especially because you’re paying a lot of money for it.
What’s one word that comes to mind? Stressful. Wait, I thought dining out was supposed to be a pleasant experience.
This is exactly how your employees feel when they’re making decisions about their benefits.
Traditionally, employees have chosen and used their benefits by sifting through mountains of information that’s littered with unfamiliar acronyms and jargon, and taking a best guess at what makes the most sense personally and financially. Do I really need a health savings account? Would an HMO or PPO be better? Should I be saving more for retirement?
And when employees choose blindly or without being properly educated, their uniformed decisions can have serious consequences for themselves—and for your company. Luckily, there’s a solution that empowers employees to make smarter choices while also saving employers time and money: Employee benefits communication software.
Why is employee benefits communication software so important?
1. Employee benefits communication software eliminates confusion and stress.
Not surprisingly, 52% of employees say choosing their benefits is stressful. Remember that it’s like a foreign language to them, and they know a wrong move could have big consequences. That’s probably why one in four employees spend more than seven hours researching their benefits before making selections—time they’d probably rather spend on other things.
And because they’re so frustrated, employees are asking for your help. They know you have the answers they’re looking for, and one in five employees said they want more benefits education. They’re not getting what they need through traditional methods, and they don’t want to spend more time in meetings or reading benefits materials. They want a more targeted approach—to get the information they need in less time.
That’s where employee benefits software can come in handy. It breaks down your benefits offerings and complex plan designs into easily understandable terms, and offers personalized recommendations based on an employee’s own unique needs.
Employee benefit software also infuses humor to keep employees engaged, improve their comprehension of complex information, and help them retain more information for longer. This creates a more pleasant experience for employees during a time that would otherwise be incredibly stressful and nerve-racking.
The best part? It only takes about 15 minutes on average — a far cry from the 7+ hours employees spend doing research on their own. And after using employee benefits technology, 85% of employees better understand their benefits. That means happier, more satisfied employees who don’t dread the benefit selection process but rather look forward to it.
2. Employee benefits communication software helps employers onboard and retain top talent.
Employee benefits technology makes virtual onboarding much easier, and in some cases eliminates the need for new hire benefits meetings altogether. Employees can simply make their new benefits selections with an interactive tool, and they’re all set for the year.
Employee benefits software also helps to retain talent, because it offers a personalized user experience during open enrollment and throughout the year. That’s exactly what employees want, because it’s what they’re accustomed to in every other aspect of their lives—from shopping recommendations on Amazon to personalized movie suggestions on Netflix. These personalized experiences with timely and relevant messaging help employees feel cared for and valued—which ultimately means they’ll stick around.
3. Employee benefits communication software helps employers save time.
It’s not surprising that you’re probably getting a lot of benefits-related questions from employees. Things are changing so rapidly during the pandemic, and employees want and need reassurance that they can make decisions with confidence. The good news is that employee benefits technology is updated frequently with new information, so you don’t have to worry about communicating the latest benefits guidelines. Plus, our customers tell us that employee benefits software reduces employee questions by up to 50%.
Added features like Chat—an extension of your HR team—can also help save you time. That’s because seven out of 10 benefits are common and have straightforward answers. Chatbots can answer these questions consistently and with ease, helping you stay focused while also supporting employees 24/7.
4. Employee benefits communication software reduces the cost of healthcare.
Unfortunately, 30%-50% of employees make the wrong health plan choice based on their unique needs, ultimately costing employers more than $1,700 per employee per year, according to Chad Wilkins, president of HSA Bank.
Here’s another striking statistic: 25% of healthcare spending is wasted every year. This is likely due to administrative complexities, failure of care coordination, overtreatment, and a variety of other reasons such as fee-for-service models, government regulations, and outdated processes.
The solution? Employee benefits software. While employers can’t control problems that exist within the healthcare system’s infrastructure, they can control how their employees engage with their benefits—which has a huge impact on an organization’s bottom line.
For example, when employees understand how an HSA works, they may be more open to choosing a high deductible health plan, which in turn lowers your company’s monthly premiums. This is money that you can put back into your business, use to contribute to your employees’ HSAs, or both. Added bonus: when employers contribute money to their employees’ HSAs, 100% of those contributions are tax-deductible.
Here’s another example: When employees understand in-network vs. out-of-network providers, they can choose an in-network (lower cost) specialist or facility. The same is true for generic versus brand-name drugs. Employee benefits technology can help your employees capitalize on these lower costs and make smarter choices.
Employee benefits communication software can also steer employees toward preventive and chronic care, which helps employees catch diseases early and avoid higher costs from worsening conditions. Prevention is the name of the game when it comes to lower overall healthcare costs.
These are just a couple of examples of how employee benefits software can help reduce the cost of healthcare. This interactive software inquires about each employee’s financial situation and presents them with the options that are right for them based on their family needs, chronic conditions, and more.
5. Employee benefits communication software drives smart benefits decisions.
Choosing benefits is only one piece of the puzzle. Once enrollment is complete, employees need to continue to make smart choices that improve health outcomes while also lowering costs. They should be able to easily answer questions such as: How can I save money on prescription drugs? What is the cost of a procedure at one hospital vs. another? How can I use telemedicine to lower my overall healthcare costs? How can I access preventive care or mental healthcare services?
Employee benefit technology relies on behavioral science that studies human actions, including how our own biases, lack of knowledge, or previous experience can influence our decision-making. This software identifies many common benefits pitfalls and steers employees toward the right plans and decisions based on their own personal health, finances, and other factors.