5 Tips To Effectively Teach a Millennial Workforce About Health Benefits
Employee benefits aren’t always simple. In fact, for many young employees, they’re downright confusing. Only 7% of individuals can define terms like premium, deductible and coinsurance. And that limited understanding can result in significant—and often unnecessary—expenses for both employees and employers. Low health literacy costs Americans between $106 billion and $238 billion annually, according to the National Library of Medicine.
The good news is that you’re an employer reading this article - and you can teach your employees how to be wiser consumers. The earlier their training starts, the better. This article outlines 5 ways employers can start informing young employees about their benefits right away.
1. Start With Benefits 101
If your team doesn't work in the insurance industry, chances are they don’t know basic terminology—especially if they’re new to the workforce. That’s why you should start educating with benefits 101 initiatives. Cover the basics such as common insurance terms, group health coverage ins and outs, and enrollment period restrictions.
2. Explain What’s In It for Them
At the core of any transactional conversation is the question of “what’s in it for me?” Employees, especially millennials and Gen Z, will undoubtedly want to know why learning about insurance is worth their time. So in addition to teaching them the basics, provide information on more advanced insurance aspects like provider networks and how a little research can save employees thousands on medical procedures. Be sure to emphasize that the more they know, the less they’ll have to pay for their health.
3. Vary the Messaging
Your younger employees typically respond better to more engaging messaging. A better strategy than handouts and boring brochures is to incorporate a variety of formats—there’s no reason why benefits education can’t be informative and attention-grabbing. Examples include email announcements, PowerPoints, videos, mail-home flyers, posters and comprehensive packets.
4. Don’t Stop Educating
Benefits literacy can’t be achieved overnight. It’s a process that must start now and continue year-round. There are always new topics to explain to employees including when to request a life event, how to use telemedicine, how to fill a prescription, when to visit urgent care over the emergency room and who qualifies as a dependent. Consider issuing a benefits information newsletter touching on different benefits topics each month. Doing so can clear up a lot of the confusion that usually occurs during open enrollment.
5. Be There for Questions
Some employees will have questions no matter how thorough their educational resources are - you probably can name a few people like this yourself. It can get quite overwhelming to answer questions as well as run a company. Appoint a dedicated person on your HR team to help answer benefits-related questions. This individual should be available online and in-person. Consider having annual conferences with the HR staff as well as mandating one-on-one meetings with the designated benefits person.
You have a responsibility to educate your workforce about their benefits. Young employees can’t be expected to understand their benefits nor make wise health care choices if they don’t understand benefits basics.
At the same time, you need to have a place to turn to for your own health insurance concerns as a small business owner. NY Small Health specializes in small business health insurance. Find out how NY Small Health can help you today!