It’s easy to confuse your sight line with those of your employees. But when it comes to making vital information available to employees, assuming that employees share your view of health care can be a mistake.
A sight line is that invisible line that stretches between your intended audience and the item you want them to see. The term is used in a theater or stadium to describe how well a particular ticketholder can view the action.
Employees’ sight line for benefits information is especially important to employers who self-fund their health benefits. These employers want their employees to “see” and understand:
- How and why the benefit plan works.
- What tools are available to help employees make wise health care decisions.
- How employees can benefit from everyday choices to improve their fitness, seek the appropriate level of medical services or care for chronic conditions.
Achieving those goals will require using a variety of communication tactics to reach your employees where they live and work. Keep this list in mind when weighing your options for benefits communication:
- Think about where and how your employees access health information, which can vary based on the nature of your workforce.
- Rely on a mix of in-person and online approaches to convey benefits information, as shown by the MetLife benefits survey and other studies.
- Make sure quality and cost information is available online to guide employees who are planning surgical procedures or dealing with other medical events. An example is The Alliance QualityCounts® program that compares health care providers based on quality and/or cost.
- Aim to offer online information in a mobile-responsive format, which means employees can easily read it from smartphones or other devices with Internet access. The use of these devices continues to grow rapidly as Americans embrace a mobile lifestyle.
- Help employees understand the link between their health care choices and their financial health by providing access to a tool or service that estimates of out-of-pocket costs.
- Use The Alliance’s employer resources, which include materials that can be distributed during enrollment and implementation; health and wellness brochures; healthy living vendor discounts; lunch and learn presentations on “How to be a Better Health Care Consumer” and other topics; worksite health screenings; and more.
- Tap into vendor resources related to benefits, including dental, vision and pharmacy plans. Most vendors offer both online information and toll-free telephone access to customer service to help employees make sure they have correct information about their coverage.
- Share links to vital information from vendors and other sources on the company benefits intranet as well as the internet.
Remember, using a variety of communication tactics is likely to improve your employees’ sight line to benefit information and assistance. That’s a critical step in engaging your employees in making better health care choices as part of your self-funded health benefit plan.