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Better Benefits Education Means Smarter Healthcare Utilization

A company provides its employees with healthcare benefits – now what?

It is imperative that employees understand how to use these benefits easily and efficiently to get the most out of them. A survey conducted by LIMRA found that 53% of employees felt their employer didn’t effectively communicate their medical benefits. When an employee understands their benefits, the healthcare utilization rate increases, employees’ overall well-being increases, and healthcare expenditure by the company can even decrease.

In this blog, we’ll discuss why it’s important that employees understand their health benefits, how employers can aid in benefits education, and a solution that takes the stress out of benefits education and lowers costs even more for employers.

Why employers should care about benefits education

When employees understand their health benefits, they’re more likely to use them correctly. Knowing about and properly using benefits increases the overall well-being of employees as they are receiving the care they need to stay healthy and happy. Benefits education helps both employees and employers. A MetLife study reported that 51% of employees who feel their health is holistically considered were more likely to continue working for their current organization for at least one more year. This is just the tip of the iceberg when uncovering the residual effects benefits education has for companies.

When employers prioritize benefits education, employees feel empowered to take charge of their health. When an employee doesn’t understand their benefits, they sometimes put off getting the care they need. For many health issues, namely chronic conditions, employees who put off care can end up costing employers a great deal of money down the road. By seeking medical attention and taking control of their wellness journey, employees can improve their mental health, which increases productivity.

How employers can assist in benefits education

Healthcare utilization only works if you work it- this means that employers must aid in benefits education for their employees. Employers should care about benefits education as it can directly result in a decrease in spending for employees and the company. Setting up a meeting to discuss benefits is a great tool that helps employees understand what they’re getting with their benefits. Some benefits companies also offer benefits education campaigns and periodic check-ins, which takes the pressure off employers to coordinate everything themselves.

Another easy yet effective way to help employees learn and utilize their benefits is to have literature available either in the company’s intranet/SharePoint or similar platform or in a communal area in the office with the contact information for the company that is providing health benefits. This way, employees can easily access that information instead of having to search for it. The fewer obstacles a person has to navigate, the more likely they are to access it.

Although these simple actions can make a significant difference in benefits utilization, if the foundation isn’t right, it won’t matter. Choosing the right health benefits for each company is the first step in providing the best experience for employees.

How Direct Primary Care can help lower cost containment and aid in benefits education

If companies are looking for an affordable healthcare option, Direct primary care (DPC) memberships have been steadily rising in popularity due to their higher utilization rates and ease of use. DPC is a type of healthcare membership where patients pay their physician directly for their primary care services, as opposed to paying an insurance company.

DPC lowers a company’s cost containment by operating on a fixed monthly fee. This allows a company more clarity when trying to plan financially for the future. On average, employers can save up to 20% annually in healthcare costs by adopting a DPC model. To take that a step further, proper benefits utilization can help save even more in healthcare costs. Since DPC also focuses on preventative care, companies can worry less about shock claims, which are expensive claims that aren’t common, but employers must pay when they occur (i.e., cancer treatment, organ transplants, etc.)

Below are a few examples of benefits utilization that offer more savings:

  • Scheduling yearly physical exams: Most DPC memberships offer these for a small fee or for free, and they are vital in the early detection of chronic diseases. If left undiagnosed, these diseases could end up costing you a lot down the road (treatments, surgery, etc.)
  • Utilizing virtual care appointments: If an employee has a cold, instead of running to urgent care, they should try virtual care first. In many cases, these visits are free through DPC, whereas an urgent care visit can average $150 – 250 for some DPC memberships. In some cases, you are also able to get a prescription through virtual care instead of scheduling an in-person visit with your physician, which typically costs about $100 – 150 through insurance, a high-deductible health plan, or out-of-pocket.

DPC is a lower-cost healthcare option for companies looking to cut down on expensive and, in many cases, wasteful costs associated with healthcare. Benefits utilization is another necessary ingredient to healthcare savings that is often overlooked by companies as it can take time and effort to plan. To learn more about DPC and benefits education, click here.

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