Dazed and Confused
It’s become pretty clear that some employees have trouble understanding health benefits. And if employees don’t understand what the benefits are, how can we expect them to go about using them effectively and efficiently?
It’s human nature to shop around for bigger ticket items we want to purchase. For that new big screen TV, we’ll research for hours on the internet, reading reviews, finding the best price and ultimately become an expert on the subject. This isn’t so much the case with healthcare, even though these purchases often cost far more than a new TV.
Why is that? Part of the problem is the complex language that healthcare is usually spoken and/or written in. It’s just not easy for us to understand, therefore we choose not to. Or, maybe we just don’t want to. Either way, it’s our responsibility to help them understand what their benefits are and how to use them.
So, what’s an employer to do?
- Be consistent. Use the same language when describing your healthcare coverage, costs, services and details across the board.
- Simplify. Use plain English. Often writing the way we speak is the best way to do this. Try short sentences, less complex words and maybe throw in a contraction for good measure.
- Create “ah ha moments.” Everyone loves books with pictures. Visual examples are a great way to engage employees that are visual learners.
Health literacy is a problem for everyone. And until employees are fully informed, we can’t expect to see changes for the better. With open enrollment in full swing, now’s your chance to get your message across. Don’t miss your opportunity to get the word out.
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