5 Things You Can Do to Clear Up Benefits Confusion

July 23, 2019

When it comes to employees benefits, one of your greatest challenges is to make sure nothing holds your employees back from participating. Often times, what’s holding them back is confusion about even the basics of each plan.

In WEX Health’s “Paying for Healthcare in America” report, half of employees surveyed revealed that they need help making sense of health jargon. This leads to employees under-funding their benefits plans or not participating at all, despite the potential savings. We’ve compiled some tips you can use to help give your employees the clarity they need to engage in your benefits plans. And complete the form below to get your Ultimate Guide to Benefits, which outlines the basics of each popular employee benefits plan.

Start strong

Getting your employees’ attention about the potential savings is as important as holding their attention. Did you know up to 80 percent of companies say their employees don’t even open or read materials about their benefits?

If this is the case at your business, your first step should be determining why your employees aren’t considering their benefits opportunities. Create a short survey and give your employees time to complete it so you can find out what might be holding them back. Then, develop a strategy that gets their attention right away, providing them with resources and savings examples that are both real and relatable. For example, use tables and charts to show the potential savings based on a typical employee’s salary.

Compare and contrast

Many employees are confused about the characteristics that differentiate your plans. For example, WEX Health’s report found that 30 percent of employees enrolled in consumer-driven health plans believe a Health Savings Account (HSA) is governed by the IRS’ use-or-lose rule (they’re not). Two-fifths of them believe Flexible Spending Account (FSA) funds can be invested (they can’t).

Provide your employees with materials that clearly show the differences between your plan offerings so it’s easy for them to identify what’s right for them. Our blog posts comparing HSAs to FSAs, HSAs to Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and FSAs to HRAs are a few resources you can share that outline the differences.

Expand accessibility

Technology makes it easier than ever for participants to spend their employee benefits funds. Many times, the technology is so intuitive that it takes much of the decision-making and substantiation out of your employees’ hands. If this is the case with your plans, make sure your employees are aware of what technology is available for them to use to manage their plans (such as a stacked debit card, online account or mobile app).

One of the ways we’ve simplified benefits access is with the Discovery Benefits debit card, which puts all of your employees’ benefits plans on one card. The Discovery Benefits debit card pulls funds from each plan based on the expense’s eligibility. And, when it’s used anywhere with an Inventory Information Approval System (IIAS), purchases are automatically substantiated when they’re eligible.

Other ways we’ve made employee benefits more convenient include:

Find your champions

Word of mouth remains one of the most effective ways to build confidence and momentum in any products and services. Connect with your employees who regularly participate in your employee benefits, then choose a couple of them to share their stories during open enrollment. Employees who are more apprehensive to participate may be more comfortable approaching these “benefits champions” you’ve identified, since they have first-hand knowledge and comfort with the participant experience.

Make yourself available

If you’re the open enrollment contact at your business, make yourself available to answer any questions your employees have. While email gives your employees communication flexibility, the benefits of a face-to-face talk – in clarity and in building trust – are well-established. That’s why, if you’re able to take an “open door” approach at times during your day, it may help your employees feel more confident to participate.

Would you like to learn more about employee benefits plans? Complete the form above to get your copy of the Ultimate Guide to Benefits.

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