Picwell Blog

3 Reasons Why Employees Should Change Health Plans

Apr 20, 2022 10:15:10 AM / by Picwell

The past several years have thrown a wrench into the way your employees live their lives and make decisions - especially when it comes to health care benefits. 

In the past, most employees would often stick with the same health insurance plans year over year - even when there were better options available. But now, times have changed, and more than half of workers polled indicated that they’ve become more engaged in the benefits enrollment process and are spending more time to consider all of their options to ensure they have the right coverage in place to meet their needs. 

So, as you craft your benefits communication strategy, consider these three big reasons why you should urge your team members to re-evaluate (and be open to changing!) their health insurance plans.

#1: Qualifying Life Events

Every employee needs health coverage that supports them at each stage of their life. So, when they experience a significant change along their journey, they should adjust their insurance to align with their new circumstances. Here’s how life events could necessitate a change to their health plan:

  • Marriage: If your team member gets married, they may want to add their spouse to their policy. Or, they may opt to be added to their spouse’s coverage and need to cancel their insurance.
  • Divorce: If your employee gets divorced, they’ll need to remove their former spouse from their plan.
  • Birth: If your team member has a baby or adopts a child, they may want to add them to their policy.

These are only a few of the situations which may necessitate a change in health insurance. No matter which of the above applies, it’s important to note that your employee only has 60 days from the date of the event to alter their coverage - so time is of the essence!

#2: Changing Medical Needs

Your team members' medical needs can vary dramatically from year to year, so they need to be on a plan that always covers their care. But, here’s the kicker: your insurer can (and likely will) change your company’s health plan(s) over time. That means your employee must review the plan documents during every open enrollment to ensure that the policy will still pay for their medical expenses.

Workers should check that their selected plan will still cover their:

  • Most essential prescriptions
  • Primary care physician and specialists
  • Local hospital
  • Geographic area

If the insurance provider decides to cut coverage for any of the above, your employee’s health care costs can skyrocket. But, if they know about the change in advance, they can enroll in a plan that better fits their needs. That way, they can get the treatment they need at a price they can afford.

#3: Cost Savings

If your employee can get the coverage they need and save money by changing health plans, they should absolutely make the switch! Many employees tend to enroll in high-premium, low-deductible insurance plans because it is perceived to be the best choice. But that’s not always the case.

A majority of your employees will benefit more from enrolling in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA). While your worker will have higher out-of-pocket costs if they do require care, their premium will be much lower. Plus, they’ll be able to save for medical expenses in their HSA and experience the triple-tax advantage that comes with it! There’s a couple of reasons why this is a great option:

  1. In the event that they do need medical treatment, they will already have the cash on hand to pay for it.
  2. On the other hand, if they remain healthy throughout the year, then they have a small nest egg they can later invest as it continues to grow - it’s a win-win!

In fact, our research has shown that most employees will come out ahead financially by going this route. However, an HDHP can be scary for employees who have never enrolled in one before. That’s why effective benefits education is key to help your workers overcome their fear of a high deductible health plan and understand how it can be beneficial for both their health and their bank accounts.

More reading: 4 Reasons Why an HSA is Better for Retirement than a 401(k)

How to Communicate the Benefits of Changing Plans

We know the benefits enrollment process can be incredibly daunting for your team. Luckily, we’re here to help take the mystery out of it. Our innovative benefits decision support tool, Picwell DX, uses AI and data-driven analytics to educate each employee about their benefits and help them choose the best benefits for their needs. 

All your employees have to do is answer a few simple questions about themselves and past medical care they’ve received. Then, the system compares their information against a database of people like them and the details of the plans your company offers. Finally, it highlights the option that best aligns with their circumstances and preferences. The tool ranks the plans by order of fit and even provides a cost breakdown for each so your employees can see the math behind their coverage, plainly and simply. But that’s not all. Picwell DX can even help your employees learn about and choose any supplemental benefits your organization offers.

Want to help your workforce get the health care coverage they need AND keep more money in the bank? Book a Picwell demo today to see how you can.

 

Topics: Open Enrollment, Benefits Decision Support, employee benefits, benefits professionals, health savings account, hsa, virtual open enrollment, benefits communications

Picwell

Written by Picwell