Any way you look at it, offering health insurance to your employees is a good thing to do. Not only does a healthcare plan keep your employees healthy and protect them from huge medical bills, but studies have also shown that it is the most desired benefit you can offer. Employers who offer healthcare are more likely to attract high quality job candidates and also to retain the employees that they already have. So, if you’ve carefully researched and chosen a plan and offered it to your employees, but only a few have decided to enroll, what could be the problem? Here are 4 common reasons why employees choose not to enroll in an employer-based healthcare plan, and what you can do about it.
1. Your Plan Doesn’t Match Your Employees
The first reason employees may choose not to enroll in your healthcare plan may seem obvious: they just don’t like it. Even if you’ve done hours of research and you think you’ve found the perfect PPO plan with a low deductible, you may not be taking into account your employees’ ages, family size, and financial situation. If most of your workforce is young, healthy, and childless, then they might prefer a high deductible health plan. But, if you have a very diverse workforce, then they might all have different needs. In that case you might want to look into an la carte healthcare plan, like a cafeteria plan.
Since asking your employees about their healthcare is a pretty sticky subject, you may be unsure how to solve this particular problem. The answer is actually very simple and will only take a little bit of time: give your employees a healthcare survey. Ask them all the relevant questions to gauge what they are looking for in a healthcare plan, and be sure to keep it anonymous to encourage participation. Their answers will give you a much better idea of what they want and where you should be looking for a plan.
2. The Network Isn’t the Right Fit
Most healthcare plans have a set network of providers that the insured can see without incurring out-of-network charges. So, even if your employees are happy with the PPO plan you chose for them, they might be unhappy with the providers included in the plan’s network. Some employees may find that their trusted doctors are not included in the offered plan – and that could be a deal breaker for them.
The solution to this problem can be the same as above: ask about your employees’ provider and network preferences in a survey. Be as specific as possible, asking about what doctors, hospitals, facilities, and prescription drugs they would like covered.
3. The Total Costs Are Too High
Premiums, deductibles, copays, coinsurance…there are a lot of costs to add up when it comes to a healthcare plan. Even if you’re contributing 50% of your employees’ premium costs, that cost can still take a big chunk out of their paychecks. And premiums aren’t the only thing they need to budget for: around 80% of covered workers have a deductible they need to meet before their healthcare costs are covered. The average deductible for covered workers in small businesses is over $2,000, which is a very significant sum for a working family.
One way to help offset these costs and encourage your employees to enroll in your plan is to consider putting money into a tax-advantaged account like a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA). Both you and your employees can make pre-tax contributions to these accounts, and your employees can use the funds in them to pay for qualified healthcare expenses. An FSA can be used with any kind of healthcare plan, but the contributions are “use it or lose it.” In contrast, an HSA must be combined with a qualified high deductible health plan but the contributions can roll over each year.
4. Your Employees Don’t Understand Their Options
There are some that believe that effectively explaining and communicating the importance of benefits to your employees is just as important as offering the right plan. As a business owner, you already know that people don’t buy what they don’t understand. Employees need to understand the benefits you’re offering them and how important they are to themselves and their families in order to want to spend their money on them.
A recent survey by Colonial Life found that one-third of employees spent less than 30 minutes looking at their benefits options, and another third spent less than an hour. And this doesn’t just affect them: the same survey found that the employees who sped through their benefits choices were 55% more likely to leave their jobs, 32% more likely to feel dissatisfied with their jobs, and 18% less likely to feel cared for by their employer.
The solution to this problem is simple: communication. As the employer, you need to find an effective communication strategy that works for your employees. In addition to the printed or digital material you offer, consider holding individual and/or group meetings to talk about benefits. And don’t assume that just because some of your workers are younger, they want everything to be done online. Another Colonial Life survey found that Gen Z and Millennial workers are actually slightly more likely to want human interaction when learning about or enrolling in benefits: 91% for Gen Z and 83% for Millennials, as compared to 76% of employees overall.
At EZ.Insure, we know that you’re working hard to find the best options for your employees, but sometimes you just need someone to point you in the right direction. That’s what we’re here for. When you come to us, you’ll get your own personal agent who will give you instant, accurate quotes, answer all of your questions, and never, ever hound you with endless calls. And we do it all for free. You’ve got your employees’ best interests at heart, and we’ve got yours at heart, so get started with us today. Simply call 888-998-2027, or enter your zip code above.