- Posted by Chris Elvidge
- On October 17, 2016
Research and enrollment figures show us that the rollout of HDHP plans many times lack the necessary education and touch to consumers to help them make an informed decision. Without the appropriate rollout at enrollment (and throughout the year), employees will continue to be lost about how to shop around or know where to begin to make this plan valuable to them.
Employees and their families need a clear ‘plan’ in helping to manage appropriate and cost valued healthcare consumption. It is important to keep in mind that to many employees, this consumer directed health plan (high deductible) concept is still overwhelming. Although many HR managers and professionals are familiar with these plans and the structure, the fear that exists for employees is very real, and a rollout campaign is critical for the strategy to take hold.
Transparency tools for the consumer are readily available for these plans. They are designed for consumer shopping and allow the plan member to view price and quality information within the network. Many believe that expensive still means higher quality care. Certainly, that is not the case. Consumers need to understand what kind of care they need, and that getting to the right provider is important due to the variability of care, and that price- also variable, has little relationship to quality. This is more complex and very different way to consume health care. This requires very detailed education sessions for employees and explaining the value of ‘engagement’.
If we are able to provide the right guidance and education throughout the year, and not JUST at enrollment time, consumers will feel more comfortable and empowered about making the right decision. When you have an engaged and motivated consumer, health care system as a whole works better. Employers win as well, when employees and their families understand the plan and get the right care, at the right price, rather than going through the motions of unneeded or inappropriate care from low quality, high cost provider, employees are happier and more productive at work.