Are your employees getting thrown by health care jargon and insurance terminology? Americans are increasingly confused by health insurance. In a recent poll, 56% of Americans admitted they felt “completely lost when it comes to understanding health insurance.” More than half of respondents don’t feel they understand their insurance at all! How many of your employees fall into that group?
There are numerous ways to educate your employees and increase their health care literacy. One important factor: checking in to make sure they understand the basic terms they’ll be dealing with as they select and utilize their benefits. Take a look at ten problematic health benefit terms, and consider how you’re defining them on your website, in your communications, and in team trainings.
Often, these three key terms get mixed up. Deductible, Coinsurance, and Copayment are essential health care terms that every employee needs to understand — especially with the growing popularity of high-deductible plans. Understanding that a copay is a flat rate defined for specific services, as opposed to coinsurance which kicks in after deductibles have been met, can help employees with different medical needs make informed decisions about the right plan. In the same vein, make sure employees understand the term Premium refers to their regular payment for their health plan.
Deciding on Pre-tax and Post-tax payroll deductions can get confusing for employees, especially with everything else they’re trying to work out as they set up their benefits. Defining both the terms and the tax benefits of going with pre-tax deductions (which may be as simple as higher take-home pay in each check) can help your employees make the right choice.
The difference between In-Network and Out-of-Network providers and facilities can get murky for employees navigating complicated treatment plans or emergency services. Often, employees don’t understand what makes a physician or facility a network provider. Defining the terms to help them understand that in-network means they’ve agreed to provide care at discounted rates can simplify the concept.
Additionally, provider terms like Authorization and Referrals can spark confusion. Make sure employees understand that some types of services require authorization or referrals for insurance coverage, and show them the easiest place to get it — it might be via a web chat or a phone call with the insurance company.
The terms may seem basic to you, but to employees, they can represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to struggling with health care and insurance. Additional factors could make things even tougher, such as workers who speak English as a second language. Does your workforce struggle to understand their benefits and use them effectively?
It might be time to consider a health care advocacy program for your employees. Providing guidance to employees struggling with their benefits has been shown to help employers and employees alike save money, time, and frustration. Now, you can provide health care advocacy and employee engagement through WBD’s team of specialists. Contact us now to learn more about this exciting offering.