When it comes to our financial wellness, we like to think we’re smart consumers. If you’re going to make a big-ticket purchase, you do your research. So why is it that when it comes to health care, consumers don’t use the same tactics? In today’s challenging and ever-changing environment, financial wellness is critical.
It’s in your company’s best interest to teach employees how to be better health care consumers. When you create a culture of openness and transparency around health care, you’ll immediately notice the benefits.
Here’s how you can start coaching your employees on how to become better healthcare consumers.
Communicate About Benefits Often
Your employees—and their families—are using their benefits year-round. Now more than ever employees want to know what their benefits cover. Make it a point to communicate early and often about how their benefits work, where to find resources, and how to be a smart health care consumer. Test different formats, such as:
- Creating a page of relevant links on your staff Intranet
- Dedicating a section in the employee newsletter to benefits news and tips
- Sharing updates during company-wide meetings
- Forwarding resources from your health insurance provider to all staff
Present Alternate Ways of Providing Care
Many people don’t realize that they can actually shop around for health care, let alone how to do it. It helps to show employees a price comparison for different services and where employees can save money.
For example, employees might assume they need to go to the hospital for an MRI; however, a freestanding MRI clinic will be much less expensive (and more accessible). Or, they may think they need to visit the emergency room (racking up big claims) when an urgent care center would be more than sufficient.
Compile a handy list of in-network facilities who can perform many of the same services as hospitals, and keep it somewhere employees can easily refer to it.
Encourage Employees to See In-Network Providers
Encouraging employees to see in-network providers is the most cost-effective solution for employees and employers. Employees enjoy the benefits and discounts providers negotiated to be part of the healthcare plan’s network. This could include bundled services, convenient, single payment for all treatments related to a specific illness, condition or medical event (as opposed to fee-for-service).
To help employees stay in-network, place a link to your health insurance’s Find a Provider page on the staff Intranet or in another easily accessible location.
Create a Workforce of Savvy Health Care Consumers
When it comes to educating your employees to become better healthcare consumers, it doesn’t have to be a big burden. By simply committing to talking about healthcare more regularly, the conversations will become second nature and create a shift in your workplace.
HPS is here to help. As an independent provider network, we create tools to help our members navigate their healthcare choices with ease. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you improve your employees’ health care experience.