In an effort to manage increasing healthcare costs, many employers are moving away from the "one size fits all" benefits package and are instead are offering benefits that can be customized to offer employees greater choice.
For example, we're seeing more companies choose to implement wellness programs and health reimbursement arrangements. While these examples both appeal to the ability for employees to customize their benefits, they're also fairly new to the employee benefits landscape and therefore should be addressed in employee benefits education.
1. Retirement Plans
The survey indicated that employees had the most difficult time understanding how retirement plans worked. Considering that 35 percent of employees indicated that retirement was their most important financial goal, this is an area that needs to be addressed thoroughly in employee benefits education.
2. Wellness Programs
Implementing a wellness program for your organization does not have to be an expensive endeavor, and it's been shown to increase employee satisfaction in the workplace by 40 percent. Educating your employees about your company-wide wellness program is absolutely necessary as it will help to increase participation. Ultimately, increased participation will lead to healthier employees, less sick days, and increased productivity.
3. High Deductible Plans
Many employees (especially those in the Millennial generation) are opting to go with high deductible healthcare plans. When pairing this type of plan with a tax-free savings account such as a health savings account (HSA), employees are able to better prepare for upcoming medical procedures. Employees want to be educated about their financial obligations with a high deductible healthcare plan and the types of tax-free savings options available to them to pay for medical expenses.
4. Critical Illness Insurance
People are living longer today, which also means that they are more likely to be faced with a serious illness or health related issue such as cancer, a heart attack, or a stroke. Such health related issues can lead to some serious medical costs. In fact, a large percentage of bankruptcies in the United States are due to overwhelming medical expenses. A critical illness insurance policy can help an employee to better manage these medical expenses and instead focus on recovering. Since critical illness insurance is somewhat new to the insurance marketplace, many employees are not fully aware of the benefits that it can offer.
5. Employee Benefits Outside of Open Enrollment
Your employees are likely to experience some big life events outside of the open enrollment period, such as starting a family. They want access to employee benefits education tools throughout the year to help them better address these big life events. For example, sending out a monthly employee benefits newsletter to your workforce can help them to get answers to questions and keep their available benefits at the forefront of their minds.
The more you can educate your workforce about employee benefits and address the topics that are of most importance to them, the more satisfied your employees will be.
To learn more about how to effectively deliver employee benefits education, please contact us at Summerlin-Roberts.