Employers

Are Employees Getting The Health Benefits They Want? How Can Employers Help?

Sandeep Gupta
Fri 12 February 2021
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In order to manage costs and boost employee productivity, employers need to make sure that the health benefits they are offering are customized according to what employees actually need.

In a survey conducted by Innovaccer, we found that, out of offered benefits, employees are using health and wellness programs the most (56.8%), followed by telemedicine programs (52.3%), and programs that help them find a doctor and access cost and quality information (40.9%). The least used programs were the ones that offered chronic care management (6.8%), followed by programs that helped employees understand the cost of doctor visits and medications (15.9%).

The top most reason why employees weren’t using some of the programs was that they were simply not interested in them (45.5%).

A study also shows that the majority of employees don’t understand their benefits or even read benefits materials: up to 80% of the companies reported that their employees do not open or read benefit materials.

These findings raise some questions around potential opportunities for employers to better align benefits offered to employees, or to better communicate the value to gain better interest.

Employers thus need an entirely new strategy for deploying benefits— a better platform for driving education, awareness, engagement, and utilization.

Healthcare Navigation: Employees Need Support From Employers

Most benefits are complex for employees to navigate. As specific healthcare needs arise and change, employees face a fragmented experience where they have to choose from the different point solutions offered by their employers. Simply adding new solutions and announcing them is not enough; employers need to make it easier for employees to navigate them.

What employers can do: Employers can address this challenge by streamlining the employee experience and guiding them toward the right care in a user-centric manner. This can be done by offering them an integrated digital platform that solves the fragmented and difficult-to-navigate ecosystem of point solutions.

Changing Priorities: Are Employees Getting What They Want?

A report by McKinsey suggests that while 96% of companies globally have made changes to their HR policies and increased employee resources, only one in six employees reported feeling supported, and 62% of employees globally “consider mental health issues a top challenge.”

Conventional care leaves people to manage their own health.But when it comes to behavioral health conditions,many don’t understand how much these conditions affect overall health. More than 60% of employees said they want their employer to spend more on mental and physical well-being support, according to a survey.

Although employers are stepping up to support their employees’ mental health, many are struggling as to how to go about doing this. Sometimes, there may be stigma around utilizing these benefits, which can deter employees from signing up for them.

What employers can do: It behooves employers to foster an environment that de-stigmatizes essential benefits by making them confidential, accessible, and an established part of the organization’s culture. Also, having mental health resources in place may not be enough, employees may need some reminders about them and how to access them.

Do Employees Know The Value Of Their Health Benefits?

A study published by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that patients save between $19 and $121 per visit when choosing virtual care. Yet, many employees are simply unaware that they could save so much or they may not even know that the benefit exists.

A benefit only saves money when employees use it. Employees lack the guidance to first understand how they can save money, and then how to go about doing it.

What employers can do: Employers need to understand that employees need on-going support and on-demand help to be able to extract value from the benefits that are offered to them. Employers should leverage technology to make sure that employees are aware of what is available to them so that they can avail them at the right time.

As we move through 2021, it becomes important for employees to make an effort to understand and use their benefits, and equally essential for employers to educate and support them through their healthcare journey.

To learn more about how you can enhance the care you deliver to your employees with a unified healthcare data platform, get a demo.

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