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4 Important Effects of Complex Health Benefits On Employee Productivity

The healthcare struggle is real.

It's no shocker that healthcare services and terms in America are complicated and tedious for most people. A recent study on the direct effects of health benefits complexity discovered that the growing difficulty in obtaining healthcare severely impacts consumers in several ways. The major struggles, according to the survey, center around:

  • understanding coverage levels,

  • locating providers,

  • navigating the insurance claims process, and

  • making sense of diagnoses or test results in the case of individuals with chronic conditions.

The findings prove that health insurance is confusing enough on its own. However, these challenges can become substantially worse if your company offers complex essential health benefits.


How complex benefits lower employee productivity and morale.

The same study found that 8 out of 10 individuals experienced an average of 3 problems when receiving healthcare, while 90% had extra trouble because of complex health benefits. These additional challenges could include requiring prior authorization approvals, understanding test results, developing plans for complicated health issues. Here are 4 more insightful statistics regarding the effects of complex benefits offerings on your staff:

  1. The negative impact of benefits complexity on physical and mental health: 57% of the respondents experienced a 17% decline in physical well-being and 19% decline in mental health (which increased by half for people with chronic conditions).

  2. Healthcare isn't as easily accessible as we thought: Less than half of the participants found it easy to navigate the healthcare system and use their health benefits. Almost 40% of all respondents agreed that a professional who can guide them through the insurance and benefits process would make the experience less stressful.

  3. Healthcare/benefits complexity drains productivity: 60% of the respondents stated they spent at least 27 minutes of their work-day dealing with every task related to healthcare/benefits. When you do the math, that's half an hour wasted per issue, per employee. Lean Sigma protocols would easily expose this as a problem area.

  4. There's an apparent disconnect between employers and employees regarding benefits complexity: Around 88% of interviewed employers expressed full confidence in their employees' knowledge of health insurance and benefits complexities. However, this is a gross overestimate of their teams' benefits education - only 52% of employees actually feel confident in understanding their healthcare benefits.

Understanding the state of your employees is critical to running an effective business. Despite the amount of time you spend trying to find the best health benefits for your employees, it would all be in vain if they cannot use them effectively or even understand them.


So what can employers do?

The Quantum study proves that employers need to step up and support their employees in navigating their benefits plans to improve their physical and mental well-being, if not their overall productivity. Breaking down your health benefits package to be better understood can be accomplished in 2 methods. First, educate your team on their benefits packages by holding meetings, sending monthly emails and easy-to-understand videos, conducting group presentations, or sending posters.


Second, consider working with an insurance broker specializing in matching your company's insurance needs with affordable and appropriate benefits. The vast number of health insurance companies, plans, and benefits packages in New York can make it extremely difficult to manage your health insurance, curate your benefits offerings, and run your company. Brokers like NY Small Health can do the heavy lifting for you, allowing you to focus on doing business. We find comprehensive but affordable benefits plans for small New York-based businesses like you and then train your staff and HR to administer their benefits wisely (and painlessly).


Contact a friendly insurance professional to learn about your benefits options and solutions.


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