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More employers than originally predicted have made the transition to consumer-directed health care in an effort to improve their bottom lines.
However, despite the benefits realized from transitioning, employers have discovered that CDH employee benefits can be more difficult to explain to employees, not because the CDH model is overly complex, but because of people’s natural hesitancy to move past the status quo.
Employers that are able to successfully educate employees about the benefits and uses of CDH plans see significantly higher uptake, increased employee satisfaction and greater return on investment.
The financial vehicle that drives CDH, the health savings account, is gaining popularity faster than anyone had expected. The number of employees with HSAs is now more than 1 million, double what is was late last year. However, employers are realizing that simply offering a tax-advantaged way for workers to make health care decisions is not enough without a comprehensive employee education program.
The idea of consumer-oriented health care delivery is appealing to employers and employees alike, but CDH works only if employees can easily navigate through the complicated world of health care. Brokers, consultants, agents and insurance carriers know that customer satisfaction relies on an efficient, informative and seamless transition.
Most employers that currently offer flexible spending accounts have been unable to provide comprehensive health care decision support tools and information for employees. These support tools are crucial if employers want to promote financial responsibility and employee consumerism as they plan their transition to CDH. Technology, tools and communication plans exist today to enable pathways to CDH with flexibility for plan changes as employee ease into the consumer-driven world. With CDH, all employees can start becoming active health care consumers while employers retain leverage over the plan designs and choices.