As we’ve looked at in the past, a lot of companies have transitioned to a high deductible health plan. We know that it’s a smart move if you want people to take control of their care and help to keep costs sustainable. But is it enough to let them figure it out for themselves? Is it enough to hand them the keys to your multi-million dollar plan and expect for them to arrive safely every time? You know where I’m going with this one – no, it’s not.
People need support -they want support. You’d be surprised by the sheer amount of employers that tell us that their people don’t want their help, only to realize after implementing a literacy program that people really, really do want help. Why wouldn’t they? Healthcare is expensive for the both of you, and most people are happy to take the support where they can get it.
Let’s look at a few ways that you can help your employees get the care they need and how you (the person in the leadership role) can help them to get there:
1. Keep an open-door policy – I’m proud to say that this is probably the area where companies feel most comfortable. Whoever manages your benefits (be it the HR department, management or the finance guys) should encourage employees to ask questions. You may not always have the answers, in fact, you probably won’t have the answers. But you should point them to the direction where they can get the answers. This is really pretty easy typically as your carrier can help out with a lot of that stuff.
2. Send employees guides – Ok, this isn’t necessarily so clear or obvious. But you should think about some of the bigger things that people have issues with. Things like getting to the doctor, knowing where to go when they need to get medical help (looking at the levels of care) or learning how to pay bills (or even that they can dispute them). Your population will have its own idiosyncrasies and needs, and based off this you can tailor the information that you give them. Trig has free guides and tipsheets that should get you most of the way there. Check out our blog for that, and you can start passing these things out or posting them around the office.
3. Purchase a healthcare literacy platform – This isn’t a shameless plug for Trig, yes we are this, but you can look elsewhere as well. But we feel strongly about combining your benefits and information into one place because it actually works. Think about the way that technology progresses, it consolidates your problems into more digestible chunks. That’s exactly what these programs do, they break down your benefits, explain them and tell you where and how to get better care.
If you’re doing all 3 of these things, then you can sit back and relax. You’re doing your part. As a matter of fact, no, your work isn’t done. I ask you to go out and tell people about what you’re doing. The world needs more companies that care about their benefits. And the best way that we can help is to talk about it.