Benefits and Compensation

Healthcare Literacy Among Employees Still a Struggle

A recent survey found that approximately one-third of adults find ordinary health-related tasks, like correctly taking prescription drugs, challenging. This general challenge is often exacerbated by poor employee benefits communications. When employers fail to properly educate their employees on their employee benefits, those employees are much more likely not to take advantage of them.


Not only do poor benefits communications lead to unhealthier employees, but they also lead to unhealthy relationships between employers and employees. The 2020 Broker: Drive Savings Through Better Employee Benefits Understanding survey, conducted by DirectPath, found that employees who received poor benefits education were far less loyal to their organizations.

Specifically, 34% of those who found their benefits communications ineffective said they were loyal to their employer. Comparatively, 74% of those who said their benefits communications were effective indicated they were loyal to their employer.

Employers Want to Get Better

The survey’s approach was to look at how benefits brokers are interacting with their clients, which provides a unique window into the benefits world. It seems employers want to better communicate their benefits to employees because 97% of brokers are seeing demand for personalized benefits education and enrollment services—a 12% jump from 2019.

Additionally, 87% of brokers say employers want guidance engaging employees on benefits choices during open enrollment. Another 81% say employers request help from brokers in selecting the right plans for employees.

Cost Containment through Price Transparency

As employers struggle to contain high health-plan costs, they have begun to demand price transparency. In fact, 83% of brokers said their clients “highly rely” on them to help contain costs. Another 62% say they are adding new offerings designed to meet the increased demand for price transparency. Employers see price transparency as a critical way to help employees find cost-effective, high-quality care.

Other Areas of Concern

Employers are also relying on benefits brokers for help in other areas. Seventy-four percent of brokers indicated their clients rely on them for compliance and reporting. Fifty-nine percent rely on them for communications materials. Finally, 45% ask for help engaging employees with benefits choices.

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