Navigating Open Enrollment Help your employees understand benefit changes and how to choose a plan that’s best for them.

You play a vital role in helping your employees understand and navigate their benefit selections. And I know it’s not always easy!

Check out these top questions we hear from employers like you around open enrollment.

1. How should I communicate a change in benefits to my employees this open enrollment? What if we have a cost increase?

Health care is complicated and expensive. There are many market factors that influence the overall cost of care and coverage. It’s important for your employees to understand that the benefits being offered are designed in a way that supports them and the organization as a whole. I recommend being transparent with your employees around the changes happening with their benefits. Don’t shy away from the cost conversation but keep it in the context of overall benefits and compensation. Acknowledge reality and be open to feedback on future benefit designs. 

2. Why do networks change from year to year?

Fostering a healthy, productive workforce and attaining cost savings are key factors that contribute to changes in networks. We focus on creating networks of providers with the highest quality and lowest overall cost. Communicating network changes, along with place of service messages, can help save time and money.

Be aware of and promote the various options to your employees, which include:

  • E-visits (often you can email with your primary care physician to get your questions answered)
  • Telemedicine (online care options are increasingly added to networks, like virtuwell or Doctor On Demand)
  • In-Network vs. Out of Network services (Out of Network services usually cost more)

3. How do I advise employees on which plan is best for them?

If you’re offering more than one plan, it’s important to help your employees understand the differences between plans. As an employer – make sure you understand the options you have and get your own questions answered so you can help others. Take advantage of the resources available to you through your insurer.

To help your employees choose the right option, consider providing plan comparison resources. For example, at HealthPartners, we provide a tool called Plan for Me that helps employees easily compare their plan options. It helps estimate which plan might offer the best value, from a total cost perspective, including premium and out of pocket expenses for the year.

If employees have questions as they’re choosing a plan, have them call Member Services.

  • Senior Director, Product and Market Innovations. Julie Bunde is responsible for developing and managing HealthPartners group and individual commercial plans. Julie has 24 years of health care experience in finance, business development and product development roles. She helps our Employer Academy readers as she translates confusing health care subjects like the Affordable Care Act. She also provides guidance on various plan designs and how you can choose the best (and most affordable) health plan for your workplace.

    See more posts by Julie >

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