Lower premiums. Access to a Health Savings Account. Healthcare control. There are many reasons why switching to a High-Deductible Health Plan may be the best move for your employees. The next step is to communicate that change in a clear and thorough way so your employees have a better understanding of what an HDHP is. We know the importance of open communication, so we want to help! Let’s examine five areas to consider when creating a successful employee communication plan.
Explain the WIIFM (a.k.a. What’s in it for me?) to your employees, and avoid framing it in terms of what’s in it for the company. Remember that your employees’ main concern is that they’re provided affordable healthcare options. Emphasize the perks, such as lower insurance premiums and the pre-tax savings and investment options that come with an HSA. If you plan to offer employer contributions to an HSA, let them know about that, too!
Keep the conversations positive and listen to their concerns. If a concern is short-term, emphasize how enrolling in an HSA will allow them to save money through pre-tax dollars to cover their deductible. If a concern is long-term, outline the investment potential of an HSA, which acts like a 401(k) for healthcare costs.
Every employee is different, so think about the methods of communication your employees respond to best. Some prefer face-to-face conversations, while others like email or recorded video. Provide your employees with an opportunity to attend a presentation on their new health plan. Emphasize that you and/or your human resources team is always available to answer any questions.
When thinking about the best time to communicate the change, consider the following:
- If you choose to let your employees know via email, send the email during a time when they are likely to have down time. That way the communication isn’t put aside and forgotten.
- Communicating a change to an HDHP shouldn’t be a one-time email. A rule of thumb is that someone needs to read or hear something three times before they start to remember it.
- Give your employees time to understand what an HDHP means for them. Tell them about the change as soon as you’re able. If they find out right before open enrollment, they’re less likely to have time to learn about an HDHP and an HSA.
Most of the fear of transitioning to an HDHP comes from the unknown, so make your employees aware of all the resources available to get comfortable with the HDHP and HSA. We offer HSA Calculators, several videos and a variety of resources that help take the mystery out of these benefits.
For tips on how to get your HDHP and HSA offerings off on the right foot, check out our blog post on switching your employees to an HDHP.