As a small business owner, you are responsible for educating your team about the health coverage options they offer. The uncertainty caused by current events this year might leave your employees worried about the status of their employee benefits. Communicating transparently and effectively with your staff about their benefits is extremely important right now.
Talking to Employees About Stressful Current Events
You and your team may be stressing out over the pandemic, the election and the status of the ACA. While you may not have all the answers, you can listen to them, explain what’s going on and, if possible, how your company is or will be responding. Here are a few points to remember when talking to your team.
The COVID-19 Pandemic
By now, your staff should be familiar with how your organization is responding to the pandemic. As we approach enrollment season, highlight any new benefits you might be adding to aid employees during these times, and clarify any changes you may be making to your plans. Remind your team of your commitment to protecting their health and safety, including your return-to-work policy.
The 2020 Presidential Election
The upcoming election, as with past elections, will bring up the two sides of health care as debated by President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden this year. It’s important for you to learn more about where each candidate stands, so you can better understand and prepare for how this election could impact the employee benefits industry and your business. You can also encourage concerned employees to learn about each candidate’s platform so they feel informed about the situation. Reassure them that any changes to employee benefits resulting from the election will be promptly communicated whenever they surface.
The Supreme Court announced that it would hear arguments challenging the constitutionality of the ACA starting on Nov. 10, 2020. This will be the third time the Supreme Court has reviewed the ACA’s constitutionality. On Sept. 18, 2020, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at the age of 87. If a new Supreme Court Justice is confirmed before the election, it could greatly impact the outcome of the upcoming litigation. Remember to note and inform employees that a verdict on the upcoming November case is expected only during the spring of 2021, until which time all existing ACA provisions will continue to be applicable and enforced.
Best Practices for Communication
Obviously, there’s a lot to keep in mind this year as health benefits could be impacted by numerous changes. Keep employees in the loop by letting them know what’s what through emails, newsletter, notices, and any other means you can think of. You can help calm some of your staff’s fears by taking the following actions:
Recognize and reassure.
Acknowledge concerns, but also reassure your team of their value to the company and the company’s desire to keep them healthy, safe and supported.
Be open and honest.
Discuss management decisions transparently with your staff and ask for suggestions to fix issues.
Inform, inform, inform.
Information is comforting. Provide as much information as possible about the pandemic, the election and the ACA litigation, and how each of these may affect employees’ benefits, if applicable.
Share the good news.
Highlight voluntary employee benefits that employees might not know about to help relieve financial stress or preserve their mental well-being.
Most importantly, be empathetic. Each employee’s situation is unique and should be treated as such.
For More Information
For additional resources regarding employee health benefits, get in touch with the small biz insurance experts at NY Small Health today.