Open enrollment is an opportunity for your employees to take charge of their financial and physical health for the new year, but many don’t see it that way. Instead, they spend open enrollment navigating confusing subscription documents and calculating how to choose the cheapest plan based on the amount deducted from their paychecks.
Most of the open enrollment information is littered with insurance jargon and intimidating acronyms. It’s no wonder most employees will focus on what they think they understand: cost. By only looking at price, your employees miss the whole point of open enrollment: maximizing their profits and minimizing loss in the long run by making smart decisions in the present.
As a benefits professional, one of the biggest challenges you’ll likely face is educating each of your employees about what policies are right for them, and why they shouldn’t just focus on what they’re “losing” from their paycheck each month.
But you only have so much time in the day to devote to this kind of education. That’s where combining decision-making benefits with reliable financial guidance comes into play. Holistic Financial Wellness Programs work to break down the ins and outs of open enrollment, from the top tier (how do deductibles really work?) to the nuances (do I need an HSA, FSA, or both?) alongside tools like interactive budget, employee benefits portal and benefits education that is adapted to your offer.
Let’s make one thing clear right away: your employees probably know even less about health insurance than you think. A recent poll of genius policy revealed: only 4% of Americans can properly define the top four health insurance terms (the terms were deductible, coinsurance, co-pay and out-of-pocket).
And of those surveyed, millennials had the lowest understanding of these terms of any generation. It’s not their fault either: There’s no college course for all of this. Financial wellness is the crash course your employees need to stay both physically and financially healthy.
Without financial wellness education, your team members can opt for the health care policy with the absolute cheapest monthly payment, not realizing that this policy will actually end up paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for a minor medical problem.
With financial well-being, they have the knowledge they need to choose the right plan for them and their family and can start the new year with confidence.
Only 40% of Americans feel somewhat confident that they have chosen the right health insurance, but the best thing about financial literacy is that it has a ripple effect. If your employees have no idea what they’re looking at, they probably won’t do much more than pick out a cheap insurance plan before moving on to the next task. But once your employees start to feel competent about the basics of their health care, they’ll likely be more willing to go further and consider all types of supplemental insurance that can often be life-saving, especially during times of stress and struggle.
Take out life insurance: A young married couple may not even consider paying a monthly fee for something that seems so far away to them. But a good financial wellness course can explain all the benefits they can get from getting life insurance as soon as possible, such as how they will save by starting younger, and how this policy will serve as a life raft for both of them should it fail. worst-case scenario.
When your team members understand their own benefits, they can begin to see these benefits for what they are: an opportunity to be proactive about their own health and to be proactive about their own financial goals. Understanding the costs of their health, both short and long term, will help your employees plan for the future instead of living in fear and struggling with their finances.
Brin Chartier is the director of marketing at LeatherLux, the leading provider of trusted financial wellness for the workplace. Brin is passionate about creating a world where having a financial plan is never out of reach. At LearnLux, she creates strategic content and marketing campaigns to support customers, partners and members. Based in Austin, TX, Brin volunteers in her spare time as a marketing mentor, enjoys doing yoga, hiking the Greenbelt, and constantly counting down the days to SXSW.