With open enrollment fresh in our minds, a little extra help with making health insurance decisions can go a long way. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that about half of employees want help when choosing a health plan, saying health insurance decisions are always “very stressful.”
When it comes to decision-making, most people tend to make decisions based on what they know and avoid exploring different options. This can lead to Groups and their employees making poor decisions, and even paying more as a result.
It’s important to take a proactive approach in educating and arming your clients with the tools needed to make better healthcare choices. Educating them on benefit options with several resources a few weeks prior to open enrollment will ultimately make everyone feel more prepared to make the best decisions for themselves. Here are three ways you can prepare, support and educate your clients for open enrollment.
Price Transparency and Comparison Tools
According to Healthcare Bluebook, most people often don’t realize that prices for health care procedures, medication and medical devices can vary by 500 percent or more. Especially when it comes to choosing an in-network vs. out-of-network provider, healthcare can end up costing even more.
Providing resources like price transparency and comparison tools can help Groups understand how their actions impact costs and make more informed decisions. Many hospital associations and Carriers have developed transparency and comparison tools available for members to use. According to UnitedHealthcare, people who look at costs first can pay up to 36 percent less for healthcare.
As a Broker, it’s one of your responsibilities to help your clients make the best insurance decisions. It’s important to educate your Groups and their employees on each plan’s offerings and even explain health insurance terminology.
Every year, Brokers should hold Group benefits meetings to provide an overview of the health plans available and any changes being made to each plan. You should also be available to meet with their employees individually to answer questions and explain how each health plan would personally apply to them.
Health Insurance Software
Open enrollment is an important time for your Groups to make healthcare decisions that will impact them for the entire year. Employees, especially, will want to give it a lot of thought and may have spouses or other dependents they need to discuss their options with.
Leveraging technology like FormFire’s online insurance platform can help provide the 24/7 access your Groups need to make more informed healthcare decisions. Using OpenShelf technology, FormFire’s all-in-one digital platform offers side-by-side comparisons of different plans, the costs they can expect from each, and what their out-of-pocket maximum would be to help them make more informed plan selections. FormFire can further streamline the enrollment process to set up alerts for your Group’s renewal date and make plan selections and managing qualifying life events as simple as possible.