Employees and individuals may feel stressed about making health insurance choices during open enrollment period. Time is limited, and they’re essentially trying to foresee how much health care they may need in the coming year and pay the least amount possible for it. It can be a balancing act.
Taking a proactive approach and talking to clients well in advance of the enrollment deadline may be helpful. Here are some ways employers and brokers can help take the pressure off employees:
1. Give choices … but not too many. Employees faced with too many plan choices may simply choose the one with the lowest premium, without taking into account additional costs such as copays, coinsurance and deductibles. Employers may want to choose just a few plans with various levels of coverage and cost. Compare small group plans with the Small Business Plan Finder.
2. Provide enough time. One guaranteed way to increase the stress level is to distribute reams of plan information and then ask employees to choose a plan within a week. Giving them enough time to review plan options, and providing regular reminders that decision-making-time is [x] days away, may help.
3. Tailor communications. Older workers may prefer hard copies or PDFs of plan information and documentation. Younger workers may prefer videos, short blasts of information or smartphone apps. Knowing your audience can keep employees engaged, motivated and enlightened as to their health insurance choices.
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