With July 1 quickly approaching, it’s important for brokers to reflect on the past six months, but it’s also necessary to stay ahead of the curve by identifying aspects of the benefits landscape that will continue to shape the industry and dictate how health care is consumed.
Here are three trends advisers can keep top of mind as they prepare their benefits plans in the second half of 2017, and in 2018.
1. Increased Popularity of HDHPs
The popularity of high-deductible health plans continues to increase.
Employers encourage use of the plans because they help control costs by shifting more responsibility to their employees. Employees find the lower premiums attractive, but they might not stop to consider their out-of-pocket risk is greater due to higher deductibles.
As more of your clients choose these plans, it’s important to encourage them to continue benefits education efforts. This is especially true for millennial employees, because this group of workers is more likely to share their negative experiences with HDHPs and their uncertainty of how these plans work on social media. Knowing this, advisers have the unique opportunity to educate clients and their employees on the pros and cons of HDHPs and how to best tailor options to suit individual needs.
When your clients are well-informed, they can better prepare workers, who will be more likely to appreciate their benefits as the year progresses.
2. Increased Emphasis on Communication Programs
Although benefits education throughout the enrollment period is highly important, employers are also recognizing the need for year-round employee communication.