More than half of Americans don’t understand their health benefits. Yet the vast majority of employed Americans care about the benefits their employers offer them. What’s the disconnect, here? Healthcare plans are complicated, and the language around them can be confusing. Add in our society’s chronic lack of time and general healthcare illiteracy, and you have a workforce who are making big decisions about their benefits without understanding what they’re paying for…or what your company is subsidizing.

Do Your Employees Need a Decision Support Tool?

If you’re supporting a diverse, multi-generational workforce, you’ve probably found some challenges in providing communication which connects with everyone. Employees at different stages in their career, and at different ages, all need something a little different from their benefits.  (For more, read our post Benefit Talking Points for Every Generation.)

No matter how tightly you tool your communication efforts, you can’t hold everyone’s hands as they try to make decisions about which plan is right for them. That’s where decision support tools come in to play. As part of your online enrollment system, decision support is an individualized solution to your employees’ most pressing question: which plan is right for ME?

How Decision Support Tools Work

A good decision support tool asks simple questions of employees, which in turn helps them think about the practical use of their healthcare plan. Instead of just considering the weekly take-out, decision support tools can help employees understand how the plan will work for them. The tool streamlines the decision-making process, encouraging more people to sign up for benefits, and even more importantly, to sign up for the right plans.

Web Benefits Design Decision Support Tools

The WBD decision support tool is interactive and highly engaging, giving employees side-by-side comparisons of their potential plan costs and potential benefit to the employee. The tool asks questions to gauge an employees’ potential level of plan usage. They’ll answer queries such as: how many times did they access care last year? What care access do they anticipate for the coming year? What medical conditions are they managing? Are they adding to their family in the coming year? And, importantly, what is their risk tolerance level?

With answers to all of these questions, the decision support tool can show side-by-side analysis which scores each plan to the employees’ intended use, plus the annual cost.

Decision support tools are more important than ever as we enter an open enrollment period which could be fully virtual for many companies. With a lack of face-to-face meetings due to physical distancing and closed workplaces, the use of a high-quality virtual tool will make a difference for many employees who don’t fully understand what benefits can do for them.

Decision support tools are just one of the ways WBD can support your online benefits enrollment and administration. Click here to learn more, or contact us to see how WBD can transform your employees’ benefits experience.

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