With the constant changes in healthcare in the U.S., it’s no wonder that 35% workers either don’t know enough about or don’t fully understand what their healthcare benefits are or what they’re paying for.
According to an article which appeared on the HRDive website, most workers (62%) who were recently surveyed by Maestro Health felt that their current employer did not or could not answer questions as it related to the healthcare they received through the company. Americans spend more than $10,000 per year per person on healthcare. This amount, which adds up to more than $3.5 trillion annually is more than double the amount spent on healthcare in almost every other country in the world.
Maestro CEO, Rob Butler, said in an interview with Business Wire that, “The market is at a tipping point. Understanding what people need and want when it comes to healthcare and benefits – and arming consumers with the tools to enhance their literacy – will help us improve consumers’ individual health outcomes.”
In another study conducted by worker benefits provider, Unum, the vast majority of workers (88%) believe that they understand their insurance benefits and packages, even though on average they spend less than 30 minutes actually reviewing the information provided to them during their open enrollment period. When tested on their knowledge of the information contained in the benefits package literature, less than half (49%) understood their benefits packages.
HRDive contributing editor, Valerie Bolden-Barrett, suggests that employers can assist their workers to more fully understand their provided benefits by both providing information year round, rather than just during open enrollment periods. They can also help alleviate the stress workers and management experiences during open enrollment periods by making auto-enrollment of workers in health programs the default setting for all employees. Workers can choose to opt out if they wish.
Having HR professionals on hand that specialize in healthcare benefits management and who can answer questions or outline the best options for individual workers can also be of definite help in raising employees’ healthcare benefits knowledge. Companies should also consider embracing current digital technology solutions that allow workers to directly see, monitor, and set their own preferences through their healthcare benefits provider with a variety of services.