A New Perspective on How to Talk About Benefits Programs
Any new benefit you offer—such as a diabetes or weight management program, a surprise billing negotiating service, a second opinion program, or a new high deductible plan—has the goal of adding more value and care for employees and their families. Traditionally, an email announcement or a mention in your benefits guide is used to get the word out. But often employees just hear you added a new vendor and program with little guidance on exactly how it should be used. You need to show your employees why they should care about these added benefits.
The impact of low engagement in your programs has real effect. 43% of those with diabetes are uncontrolled due to being left alone with difficult daily therapy decisions. 30% of misdiagnoses are life threatening or result in death or permanent disability. Nearly one-third of those privately insured receive a surprise medical bill and only 28% of them are satisfied with how the issue was resolved.
Connecting Employees to Engage
The key to connecting employees who should enroll immediately is to position the new benefits program as an extension of their existing medical plan. It’s important to remember employees don’t always view their conditions at a single point in time – there may be the moment they were diagnosed at the doctor’s office or the moment they were first injured – but conditions and recoveries are linear. Some employees will be early, mid-stream, or further along with their conditions when they first encounter your benefit programs.
For example, if employees already have diabetes and you are rolling out a new diabetes management program – talk about it in terms of layering onto their existing care program and how it will dramatically enhance their health and experience. Treating it as an extension of their plan can take the fear out of a new program and increase engagement.
Focus on the Impact
While leading with the cost savings can be an important hook, it’s also critical to point out the improvements an employee will see to their care under the program. It is one thing to talk about cost savings and incentives for using the company’s diabetes management program, but even more impactful to announce improved outcomes and lower readmission rates.
Here are some interesting ways you can use this tactic when talking about some of your benefit programs.
- Diabetes: “Works in coordination with existing insulin plans” or “Adds a weight management insulin review”
- Second Opinion: “Serves as a valuable step between doctor diagnosis and surgery scheduling”
- Explanation of Benefits (EOB) Dispute Management: “Provides another set of eyes and does the work for you in attaining the best outcome.”
This is a more approachable way to talk about it versus simply announcing “a new benefit and resource for those with diabetes” or “a required step before surgery.”
Seeding for Future Diagnoses
To spread awareness for future enrollees, explain how this benefit would be helpful to them if they were diagnosed with a new condition. While they may think about how their medical insurance plan will help them pay for the costs of managing their new condition, they may not think to look for resources their employer has in place to help them manage it for the long run. That’s the point: help employees understand you’re not taking over their care but accentuating it.
Here are some examples to explain the benefits in anticipation of a new condition:
- Second Opinion as a “helpful care step to ensure all aspects have been considered”
- Glucose monitoring services as “an extra set of hands”
- EOB reconciliation providers as “an advocate on your side”
Successfully boost engagement in your benefit programs
If you’ve had experience with new benefit programs not receiving the engagement you expected, it might be time to try something new. Develop a proper plan including some of the above strategies and leverage the expertise and technology of a partner to garner the attention and adoption you expect.
Tango Health has over ten years of experience helping our customers roll out new programs from Health Savings Accounts, to medical plans (e.g. High Deductible Health Plans and Accountable Care Organizations), and voluntary benefits such as short-term disability and chronic disease management. Learn more about our Benefits Engagement program.
Categorized in: Benefits Communication & Decision Support