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Healthcare benefits are emotionally charged.
The fear of losing coverage, being unable to use doctors they want, or unable to afford care are among employees’ serious concerns.
Shouldn’t these be addressed upfront in healthcare communication?
And why not describe the plan’s purpose, what drives the costs, and where the money comes from to pay the benefits? If employees don’t understand these things they’re left to wonder why the plan doesn’t cover all expenses, why networks, and why the complaining about rising health cost – “Isn’t that why the company has insurance?”
Unfortunately, too many health plan descriptions lead with a spread-sheet type listing of premiums, deductibles, copays, and other jargon-laced stuff.
Have you tried a flowchart approach? Or how about more of a story, “Each year, you pay the first $800 of eligible expenses – that’s called the deductible. If you have additional eligible expenses, the plan begins to pay…” and so on?
Especially in healthcare benefit communication, data without context does not increase knowledge.
Until employees learn the financial facts of benefits, reactions will be mostly emotional.
If we do not control the delivery of treatment, then the main issue is how to pay the cost.
If you say health plan expenses are threatening your organization’s financial health, act like it matters.
The new consumer-involved design requires a different communication approach.
Healthcare is an emotionally sensitive benefit. That’s why communicating about cuts is difficult to do well.
Help employees act like healthcare consumers.
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