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With open enrollment likely to be virtual this year, we invited one of our partners, Picwell, to share their wisdom on benefits decision support. Their flagship product, Picwell DX, utilizes predictive analytics to provide comprehensive medical and supplemental benefits decision support. EverythingBenefits utilizes Picwell's tech right inside our benefits admin solution, which enables our clients to gain access to wisdom based on decisions of millions Americans.

The last 6 months of COVID-19 propelled many of us into our new virtual workplace. The days of on-site enrollment meetings, benefits fairs and on-site vendor support are behind us (at least for now). With all of these recent changes, the need for effective virtual benefits guidance has never been more critical.

Here's why employees need benefits decision support

Now more than ever, employees are worried about two things: their health and financial wellness. When employees choose a health plan, they’re making a complex decision for themselves and their family - and as we all know, the benefits world is not easy to navigate.

shutterstock_1368244247For average individuals, it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict how much healthcare they will need. Complicated math, confusing terminology, and personal fears and biases all contribute to the decisions they make. This complexity surrounding healthcare benefits often results in employees buying more insurance than they need in order to avoid risk and gain peace of mind. As a result, your employees could be paying up to $2,000 more per year than they would in a plan that is a better fit for their particular needs.

In many cases, employees will benefit most from enrolling in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) combined with a Health Savings Account (HSA). However, lack of knowledge around HDHPs and HSAs often prevent employees from even considering them. In fact, a recent study found that of those employees eligible for an HSA, 69% chose not to enroll simply because they don’t see any benefits to an HSA or don’t understand what they are. Of those employees surveyed, 62% stated they would use tools to help them decide how much to save in their HSA each year, if it was offered by their employer.

Your employees don’t just want healthcare benefits guidance; they need it. 

This intersection of desire and need for benefits decision support tools is even more important for this Fall’s open enrollment period.  Many of the emotional factors that lead people to shy away from HDHPs and purchase more insurance than they need are only going to be heightened this year. HDHPs are still going to be of great value for most of your employees, but they will need comprehensive decision support tools to help them better understand and utilize these plans.

Employers cut costs and increase ROI when using benefits decision support

shutterstock_1674467302The world is not the same as it was six months ago, as remote work has shifted the way we all do business.  With the economy moving slowly to reopen, it is highly likely that open enrollment will need to be virtual this year. To make it a success, you need to reach employees where they spend their time most: their homes, phones, and computers. You need to effectively communicate benefits and ensure employees are enrolling in the best-fit plans for their needs. More importantly, you also need to make sure you are still cutting costs and improving ROI.

A key benefit of decision support is decreased costs. Providing a system that guides employees through the insurance selection process reduces the chances an employee will opt for a more expensive plan than they need. This will also free up additional money that they can then put towards retirement or supplemental health benefits. Overall, it creates more opportunities to help both your organization and employees save money, while also providing a better benefits experience for everyone.

A good example of this is advising employees to use Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) in conjunction with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). By encouraging your younger, healthier employees to choose high-deductible plans, they can invest more in retirement, in turn saving your company money on premiums, payroll taxes, and overall health costs.

In these trying times, benefits decision support is no longer an option; it’s a necessity.

Brokers provide added value by recommending benefits decision support solutions

Employers depend on their brokers to provide them with tools that make their jobs easier. Your job as a broker is to help your clients make wise benefits decisions, improve employee engagement, and drive optimal employee behavior as it relates to benefits.

In the past, decision support has been relegated to “fun and games”, but today’s most trusted benefits advisors know the value that more modern and sophisticated decision support solutions bring in an era when benefits engagement and education are so crucial.

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When you bring these types of solutions to your clients, you then become an essential part of their ability to increase ROI, delivering on your promise to help employers meet their organizational objectives.Benefits decision support should also provide you with reporting capabilities that you can use to better support your clients over time.  When you are able to present insights gained from an open enrollment period to your client, you can help them identify where adjustments can be made to fine-tune benefits offerings year over year. Not only will you perfect their benefits offering, but you will continue to build trust and provide additional value and support in a time when your clients need it most.

With COVID-19 pushing everyone to remote work over the past few months, we’ve seen how essential digital tools truly are. HR and Benefits Professionals need to adapt to these changes and adjust their strategies to ensure they are empowering their employees to make the right decisions. The best way to do this is by offering benefits decision support, combined with a benefits administration platform.

However, not all benefits decision support and benefits administration tools are created equal. Using a comprehensive benefits decision support solution like Picwell combined with an intuitive, modern, benefits administration platform like EverythingBenefits will ensure you are delivering the support your employees need to make the best decisions.

Schedule a demo with EverythingBenefits to see benefits decision support in action and how we can help make Open Enrollment seamless this year.



 

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