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Consumer Driven Healthcare Plans – Empowering Employees While Controlling Healthcare Costs

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What are consumer driven health plans, and why are employers attempting to change employee healthcare behavior? Under traditional healthcare plans, most employees don’t worry about the cost of their prescription, if it is generic or a brand name – as their copay differential might be relatively modest. However, the total prescription expenditure to the company or insurer might be significant. The same issue is true when selecting providers for radiology or other routine services, as patients don’t know or don’t care about the cost differential between local providers.

The concept behind a consumer driven healthcare plan (CDHP) is to encourage employees to shop around for healthcare services that are the best fit for their needs and are the most cost efficient for them and their employers. Your company may decide to implement a CDHP in order to reduce the cost of health care while giving employees more flexibility in their medical choices. Here are a few tips on how you can help employees overcome the barriers they may be experiencing to take full advantage of their health benefits.

  1. Provide Simple and Clear Explanations of Employees’ Benefits

Take the time to review your company’s health care benefits to reduce the confusion employees may be experiencing.  Make sure they understand, what’s in it for them. Here are some talking points to include in your presentation:

  • Demonstrate the similarities between a CDHP and a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), alleviating the concern that a CDHP may not have the same large network as their PPO.
  • Explain how CDHPs offer flexibility. An employee can choose to spend their health savings account (HSA) on qualified expenses or save for a major expense in the future. This gives employees more options.
  • Point out positive aspects of the CDHP that may not be very well known. For example, a CDHP may offer employees the opportunity to reduce their health care costs overall by participating in a wellness program.
  1. Get Creative in How You Deliver CDHP Presentations

Find multiple ways to share information about your CDHP with your employees. This can include:

  • Group meetings
  • One-on-one sessions so employees can ask detailed questions
  • Email and digital newsletters
  • Printed brochures
  • Webinars, videos and online meetings for employees who are traveling or work remotely
  1. Use Familiar Examples and Simple Analogies

Try using engaging tools to help make the information more accessible and understandable for employees. For example, compare premiums and deductibles – concepts employees are already familiar with. Create a hypothetical situation that may be familiar and present the information in a story-telling approach.

  1. Create Interesting Visuals

Some employees may have a harder time understanding CDHPs than traditional health care plans. Use infographics and charts to help employees visualize data. Sometimes a clear, engaging graphic can be easier to understand than a long-winded explanation. CDHPs can to empower employees to make the best healthcare choices for themselves and their families. Providing employees with the information and support they need will help them overcome the barrier of adopting a new type of health care benefit.

Contact Lanier Upshaw, Inc. to learn how your company can provide innovative employee benefits and risk management programs to help both your business and your employees. Contact us here to learn more.