United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

How Benefits Communication Boosts the Bottom Line

By Bill Olson, VP, Marketing & Communications at United Benefit Advisors
  Jun 5, 2014 1:11:00 PM

describe the imageAs the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance continues to rapidly outpace wages and inflation, now more than ever employers are looking for ways to keep costs down. One way to do so (that requires very modest investment) is by improving benefits communication, a critical component of employee engagement.

Industry research has shown that employees have a positive perception of their benefits (even when the overall package is mediocre) if there is an excellent communications plan in place. Unfortunately, three out of four employees say they need more education to understand how changes in their benefits affect their financial safety net*.

And, as more and more employers move to high deductible health plans, making employees aware of how to use their benefits and take control of their health care consumption will be the key to cost savings.

UBA’s white paper, "A Business Case For Benefits Communications,” addresses how best to reach employees, what they need to know, and how they prefer to receive the information. 

For example, here are a few examples from the white paper:
 

HIDDEN PAYCHECKS

Total compensation statements, or “hidden paychecks,” serve as excellent ways to inform employees about what the company is providing for them. These statements not only outline an employee's wages but also display the employer’s contributions to benefit plans such as medical, life, retirement, and more.
 

MAKING EMPLOYEES 'STEWARDS' OF THE PLAN

Sharing the financials associated with the health plan and other benefits help employees understand and become ‘stewards’ of the plans, wanting to become better consumers and help control costs. It’s helping employees understand what they can and can't control in the health care puzzle.
 

BENCHMARKING DATA

Communicating benchmark data about how an employer’s plan compares with those of other companies is another way to drive home the value of a benefits package.

“We use the benchmark data from the UBA Health Plan Survey to compare not only benefits, but contribution levels,” says Andrea Kinkade, president/employee benefits advisor with Kaminsky & Associates, a UBA Partner Firm in Ohio. “We even use it during open enrollment meetings to illustrate how our clients’ benefits and contributions levels are better than their peers. It is an extremely beneficial and key part of the renewal process as many companies struggle with what level of coverage to offer and how much cost sharing to include. When their benefits exceed the benchmarks, it is a great reminder to employees of just how good a medical program they have.” 

Download a copy of UBA’s white paper today for an in-depth look at employee benefits communication strategies: http://bit.ly/1gJR3GE.

 

*Colonial Life survey

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