When combined with healthcare's rising costs, competition, and complexity, the shift towards value-oriented, consumer-driven healthcare is encouraging employers to rethink benefit plans. To remain competitive, employers are adopting innovative plans that simplify and enhance the employee experience while reducing costs for them.
The plans that are slow to adopt employee-centricity risk lagging behind non-traditional competitors that offer care navigation and benefits engagement catering both to employers’ needs and employee expectations.
Employers are Shifting Costs
The rising cost of healthcare is a persistent problem for employers and employees alike. To manage costs, employers have been moving to high-deductible plans and increasing employee contributions to plan premiums. As the cost of coverage continues to exceed inflation and wages, employees are feeling the pinch.
Employees are Demanding More
As employees contribute a larger share of their healthcare costs, they expect improved experiences, including personalized services, better decision-making tools and deeper insights into how they can maximize their dollars. Employees will reward those organizations that simplify their healthcare experience and respond to their demands for efficiency, convenience, and transparency.
Health Plans are Falling Behind
Health plans have been slow to meet the demands of rising consumerism due to a variety of reasons, from competing business priorities to changing regulations. While many plans have good intentions, many have not taken the steps toward creating employee-centric performance. The plans that don’t enhance the customer experience risk further alienating healthcare consumers.
By not rising to the occasion, plans miss a crucial opportunity to provide a seamless experience, reinforce their relationships with employers and employees, and increase revenue.
Steps to Help You Get Started
While providing care navigation services to optimize your employees’ experience is a multi-pronged process, these steps will help you start down the correct path.
Define Care Navigation
Everyone uses this word differently. What does care navigation look like for your organization? Does it go beyond enhanced member services to include advocacy, strategic engagement, clinical or decision-support services? Be very clear about what you want your employee experience to be like.
Map Key Journeys
Switch your focus from individual interactions to end-to-end journeys. Identify multiple steps within each employee’s journey, including pain points, gaps, and bottlenecks. This will help you see where you are underperforming and empower you to provide a more inclusive and satisfying experience.
Identify what your employees want. Develop a profound understanding of their needs, values, priorities, and frustrations. What kind of experience are they expecting from a health plan? Explore opportunities to create a more personalized care navigation experience that’s based on what appeals to your employees.
Buy or Build?
Ascertain if you have the resources, expertise, and budget to build your care navigation solutions in-house or if collaborating with a company with a scalable care navigation platform would be more efficient and cost-effective. Consider everything from go-to-market timing to your infrastructure and organizational focus to core competencies.
Making the Shift
This growing focus on new healthcare delivery and enhanced employee engagement presents opportunities for forward-thinking employers. Employers can achieve a competitive advantage by offering employees a one-stop, comprehensive solution that enables them to easily access and utilize the available benefits and care options.
By providing tailored and trusted care navigation support that guides employees throughout their healthcare journey, employers can ensure the best possible employee experience while improving outcomes.