Benefits and Compensation

Employees Are Confused About Their Healthcare Benefits

What are your employees getting from your health benefits? If they are anything like the respondents in a recent study about employee health benefits, they are almost certainly not making the most of them.

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A recent report from League and Harvard Business Review found that employees’ not understanding their benefits was a major problem. Additionally, communication of those benefits seemed to be a challenge, as well. Consequently, many employees are simply not using their benefits to their best potential.

“There is a profound disparity between what employers are doing to provide health benefits and what employees are actually getting from these efforts,” said Mike Serbinis, CEO of League.

Why Are Employees Not Engaged with Health Benefits?

The study highlighted a number of reasons employees are not engaging their health benefits, the main reason being a lack of knowledge about what benefits they can even use. Sixty-three percent said they don’t know enough about how to leverage their company-provided benefits. Another 58% didn’t know what health benefits they were entitled to, and 65% said that they do not fully comprehend the value of their company-provided health benefits.

The full report shows other figures that demonstrate employees have not been successfully educated about their benefits. Many learn about their benefits during the onboarding process and maybe get some updates when they make their annual selections or through the occasional notification from HR. But the data show that such efforts are not enough. This article showcases great tips to help you better communicate healthcare benefits to your employees.

Getting Employees Engaged with Health Benefits Is Critical

When employees have a poor understanding of their benefits, there can be many consequences for your organization. For one, your organization pays a lot for those benefits—up to $15,000 per year per employee. Their being unused results in a lot of value being left on the table. Additionally, when employees don’t use their benefits, they might not get the best treatment for their health issues. Without adequate preventive care and ongoing treatment, more medical emergencies might arise. Health insurance companies absorb the initial, extreme costs of such emergencies, but those costs are going to boomerang to the employer in no time.

All of these issues are compounded by the fact that there are more health benefits than ever. Fifty-seven percent of respondents say that the number of health benefits programs is on the rise. If benefit engagement rates do not increase but the number of benefits does, then the number of benefits that are not being used will also rise.

For thoughts on lowering employee benefit costs, take a look at this article and/or this article.

Health Care an Integral Part of Overall Workforce Strategy

The study found that virtually everyone (92%) felt that health benefits are how organizations can demonstrate that they understand and care about employees’ needs. That has an impact on everything from their well-being and their employee engagement rates to an organization’s ability to attract talent. In fact, this study found that 77% of respondents felt that delivering innovative employee health benefits played a key role in their determination of their organization’s competitiveness.

Take a look at more results and analyses here.