LAS VEGAS—There are a lot of early success indicators for consumer-directed health plans: It has been proven to lower health care spending by 5 to 14 percent, it reduces trips to the emergency room, and it increases engagement of primary care. And health savings account balances are rising, as well.
But there’s a big roadblock to CDHP adoption: rampant consumer confusion. That was the main talking point from Harry Gottlieb, founder of multimedia production company Jellyvision, during a keynote address Wednesday at the Human Resource Executive Health and Benefits Leadership Conference.
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The biggest issue? Employers aren’t thinking about these rising health plans from the employee perspective.
“It’s so valuable to look through the eyes of the employee — to see what their goals are, to see what they’re looking at, especially when you roll out a CDHP plan,” Gottlieb said.
They’re confused, they’re unaware and employers and benefits managers are not helping. Most employees are not going to go to a health plan they know nothing about; they will usually stick to a plan they already have, Gottlieb told a room of HR professionals.
During an hour-long presentation, Gottlieb shared some tips on how to communicate, and sell a CDHP to employees.
Use simple communication. Forget all the fancy possible communication methods. Postcards are often the most effective method for communicating and explaining benefit plans or changes. For one thing, they get in front of other family members (often the decision maker of the family), instead of an email that just gets in front of the employee. Plus, they keep you from being wordy, and they’re inexpensive. “If you do a post card well the advantages can be really unexpected,” he said.