6. Who can best determine the value of benefits for employees?

Individuals.

The value of any benefit plan is determined by the employees who receive it – not the organization that provides it…even if a price tag is on it.

Since the 1970s, several million – perhaps billions – of benefit statements have put price tags on benefits, with little success. Telling employees the employer’s cost isn’t a bad thing. But if simply showing the costs of things increased appreciation and understanding, then putting price tags on art in museums would turn us into art connoisseurs.

To increase employees’ appreciation, benefits must be communicated in a way that shows the value to them.

The value of a healthplan to employees is not the $8,000 or more the employer pays for the coverage. For employees, the real value is the enormous financial protection. In a catastrophic medical situation, the plan can pay millions of dollars – including 100% of the eligible expenses for the rest of the year after the employee has paid just a few thousand. It’s this “what’s in it for you” message that helps employees see the real value.

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