UBP blog

07/15/2009

Attention employers, high deductible health plans don’t sell themselves

As employers, you need to make a concentrated effort to lead your employees into these consumer-driven plans. Some statistics presented in an HR Morning.com blog post last week illustrate this plain and simple truth; high deductible health plans (HDHPs) have been very slow to gain acceptance.

When this plan design was introduced in 2006, the participation among the entire population of American workers enrolled in their company-sponsored health plans was just 2.7% and grew to just 3.8% in 2007. Let’s face it, no one likes change and the high deductible health plans are a huge change from the plans most of your employees are used to.

However, the times have changed since 2007 and with the economy in turmoil, HDHPs with their lower premiums are starting to look more and more attractive. A survey of 787 companies by benefits consultant Workscape, Inc. found that between 2008 and 2009, there was a 10 percent increase in the adoption of HDHPs.

Possible rationales for this change in high deductible plan participation growth can be gleaned from their survey as well. The survey revealed that 67% of companies offer programs to help their employees make informed decisions about participating in HDHPs and consumer-driven plans. They educate employees about the plans that they offer and empower employees to choose the plan that’s best for them.

What Universal Benefit Plans has done:

Our company has actually taken benefits education for employees one giant step further than this in order to keep pace with the digital age. Our revolutionary Video Benefit Reviews (VBRs) let employees watch easy-to-understand explanations of their benefits in a format that is far more engaging than a piece of paper (or 80 pieces of paper stapled together that no one has time to read). We also make VBRs accessible to employees 24/7/365 from anywhere there’s Internet access so they can watch their benefits from the comfort of their own homes and make informed decisions, in many cases with their family members right beside them.

Does your company offer a high deductible health plan or a consumer driven plan? Have you seen an increase in plan participation in recent years?

If so, what do you do at your company to educate your employees about this new–and sometimes confusing–plan design?

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