29 Mar

HDHP and Other “Four-Letter Words” – How Employee Benefits Education Can Help Your Bottom Line

Lauryn Nosek | | Employee Benefits Videos

High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) can save your company a lot of money… but only if your employees enroll in them over other plans you offer. Educating employees about HDHPs and how they work is the best way to increase enrollment in these cost-saving plans, but what does that entail? Which methods work best and why are people so reluctant to consider HDHPs without additional benefits education?

Tackling Preconceived Notions

There are few people who have a thorough command of healthcare and benefits jargon outside the industry. The words “high deductible” cause angry, red warning lights to flash for many people. Whatever their expectation for deductibles may be, most people understand that, when deductibles are high, it means large sums of money coming out of their pocket. Premiums are taken from paychecks before they go to employees. On payday, everyone’s attention is on the number going into their bank account. Premium deductions often don’t feel like real money that belonged to individual workers because they never visibly affect personal bank balances. This makes it easy for workers to overlook or underestimate the cumulative size of that chunk of change, which makes comparing premiums and deductibles feel like comparing apples to oranges when they’re really just red apples versus green.

The trick when tackling these preconceived notions and the perceived impact on personal finances is to balance the abstract ideas of costs with more readily tangible factors like the cash from their wallet that’s handed over as a co-pay. Provide overview explanations but also give concrete numbers that carry personal significance for your employees.

Using Video for Overview Explanations

Video is an effective and engaging way to illustrate the differences between different types of healthcare plans, literally. There’s no such thing as a simple definition for the differences between HDHPs, HMOs and PPOs. Static charts and blocks of text require an effort on the part of the reader that video doesn’t demand. The more senses that are engaged in the learning experience, the better retention will be, which makes audio-visual methods popular and effective approaches.

We have a library of licensable, pre-produced videos on a number of benefits topics including overviews of contrasting types of health plans with FAQs that help employees distinguish one from another. Covering the pros and cons of each, overview videos give a well-rounded look at the plans without diving so deep people abandon watching because they need to come up for air.

Decision Support Brings It Home

Even with a better understanding of the types of plans thanks to overview videos, there will still be holdovers reluctant to change plans because theoretical savings are still too abstract while the headaches that go with changing are all too easy to anticipate. Providing employees with comprehensive decision-support tools like PLANselect® brings it all home with a tangible breakdown of the costs and value of each option. While most decision tools are calculator models that require lengthy questionnaires and a lot of deeply personal medical and financial information, PLANselect’s percentile-of-use algorithms require four questions with no identifying personal information. This also means employees can easily run several potential medical scenarios through PLANselect to see what impact those subtle differences can have on their projected costs (try the demo by clicking here).

PLANselect helps many to see the personal value of plans, like HDHPs, that they otherwise might have dismissed out of hand. Many HDHPs and consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) utilize health savings accounts (HSAs). PLANselect includes HSAdvantage, a tool that helps employees calculate HSA-contribution recommendations based on the impact to their paychecks, tax savings and more.

For a more in-depth example of how PLANselect has helped organizations looking to increase HDHP education and enrollment, read about Nebraska Medicine’s PLANselect experience.

Make Choosing Easier for Everyone

Beyond the philosophical benefits of using video as an education tool or PLANselect’s decision-support technology to show plan values based on circumstance, both are incredibly easy for employees to use. At Flimp, we’re constantly striving to make benefits communications even easier. We’re actively working to take down language barriers for companies whose diverse workforces mean struggling to find communications solutions that work for everyone. PLANselect has the ability for users to toggle back and forth between English and Spanish. And our benefits video library is growing as we work to add full Spanish-language editions of all our titles—not just Spanish closed captioning.