Last week we discussed the dynamics behind the concept: To solve the healthcare cost problem, we have to solve the healthcare experience problem first.
The healthcare cost problem is really the problem of company management, Human Resources or the benefit consultant. We want employees and their family members to take different actions, but we have to do something for them in return. We have to make their healthcare benefits experience better before they’ll help us solve our healthcare cost problem.
We examined this topic in our July webinar entitled “Health Plan Moments of Truth: Best Practices for Creating Health Plan Moments of Magic.”
A Health Plan Moment of Truth occurs any time an employee interacts with your health plan. The concept was adapted from Shep Hyken’s Moments of Truth Framework in his book, Amaze Every Customer Every Time. Hyken was the keynote speaker at the 2017 Health Activation Conference.
We asked employers a simple question. “How often does your company consistently deliver an above average experience for common Health Plan Moments of Truth?” Our research revealed much room for improvement.
What’s next? How can HR and benefits professionals turn Health Plan Moments of Truth into Moments of Magic?
Moment of Truth No. 1: Family members using benefits for the first time
Dependents often account for anywhere from 30 percent to 60 percent of a group’s claim spend. The top four diagnostic areas for these healthcare costs are usually cancer, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal and diabetes.
While these claims are driven by dependents, health plan changes are communicated to employees – not to spouses. For example, there could be a plan change, move to a consumer-directed health plan (CDHP) or premium differentials for fulfilling activity/wellness requirements. A clear message (if any) may not make it to the spouse and family members. As a result, you could be missing out on reaching the source for up to 60 percent of your healthcare claims.
Here’s some suggestions for improving communications and creating Moments of Magic:
- INCLUDE SPOUSES: “We encourage employees to invite their spouses to Open Enrollment meetings. They ask great questions and family decisions for are made faster – so we get 100 percent benefits enrollment by our deadline.” – Large Office Furniture Dealer
- BE PERSONAL: “Open enrollment is two weeks long and we have face-to-face meetings with 750+ employees and their spouses. So much can get lost over the phone and we want to build that personal relationship!”- North Texas City
- MAKE IT EASY: “We make videos of our Open Enrollment meetings and share the presentation with employees (and spouses) who were not able to attend.”- North Texas School
- PROVIDE ONLINE TOOLS: “Provide an online tool to assist with Open Enrollment decisions that can be used at home with spouse.”- Oil & Gas Company
Moment of Truth No. 2: Retiring or Changing Jobs
Some companies extend their health benefits to employees who retire before the age of 65. Others may help retirees transition to an exchange at the state or national level.
Former employees may choose to purchase insurance on the exchange or purchase COBRA coverage (private insurance) while they are transitioning jobs, but COBRA is typically very expensive. However, it may be the best choice for families with greater insurance needs.
After age 65, retirees can transition to Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans.
With so many health insurance choices, it can be confusing for employees to know what move to make.
In addition to the tips below, many Compass clients find that extending Compass healthcare navigation services to their retirees makes a lot of sense – given the many stressful aspects of retirement.
- BE GRATEFUL: “We provide a retiree checklist. We value the way we say ‘hello’ and also how we say ‘goodbye.’ We want to provide an easy experience that our employee can trust… our ‘small’ way of saying ‘thank you’ for your years of service.” – Large Airline
- BE COMPASSIONATE: “An ex-employee passed away. Our retiree benefits were secondary at the time. The widow was overwhelmed, so we called the hospital, provided insurance info. In turn, the hospital wiped her bill clean due to death. We have since added Compass availability to our retiree population.”- Diversified Holding Company
Now is the time to turn Health Plan Moments of Truth into Moments of Magic and elevate your employees’ health benefits experience.
Look for additional hints from your peers in Part 2 of this blog series.
To learn more about how to empower your employees with healthcare navigation services, register for our webinars.
- Blog: Why Focusing on the Healthcare Experience is Critical to Solving the Employer Healthcare Cost Problem
- eBook: 10 Strategies to Amaze Every Employee, Every Time
- Cheat Sheet: 16 Health Plan Moments of Truth
- Webinar: Best Practices for Creating Health Plan Moments of Magic
Moments of Magic® is a registered trademark of Shep Hyken. Used with permission.