Let’s start with what you know: Healthcare is the single most important benefit to an employee.

How can the most important benefit be associated with so many negative feelings & words? I’ve asked this of many employees and friends. The answers generally relate to the following complaint.

“Healthcare is confusing and nothing about the experience is easy”.

I would even go a step further and say healthcare plans feel more like a burden than a benefit. It’s as if you won a car, but you can only use it two days a week and drive it on 20% of the streets.

There are obvious disconnects & barriers in the healthcare experience for employees. For years we have relied on the clunky portals of health insurance carriers to tell us the 300 physicians which are ‘in our network’. From then, an employee must vet the physicians on various sites, check to see what is covered by insurance, and then try to make an appointment. Sometimes starting over the process multiple times. The obstacle course of finding quality care & understanding plan summaries mirror the following obstacle course.

Employers have control over two crucial aspects of the employee experience in healthcare. Let’s pretend you are accomplishing your end goal. “I, the (leader/employer/CEO), will provide the people I value & care for, the opportunity to:

1. Find quality, affordable care so you can show up to be your best self.

2. Understand healthcare coverage through easy & convenient communication, because you & your family deserve healthcare that works for you, not against you.

Many markets have gone through the process of removing barriers. Take the experience of finding a restaurant. Download OpenTable. Choose your location, budget, type of food, standard of quality, then make a reservation. Enjoy! After the visit you can leave reviews, recommendations, & feedback. The ultimate consumer-focused experience.

The same digital transformation has happened in healthcare, but because of limited thinking & the outdated broker model, it’s difficult to hear about the solutions. As Global HR leader Matt Burns said in the HackingHR forum last week, “Many HR leaders hold onto manual processes like a badge of honor”.

Here are a few all-in-one platforms which integrate artificial intelligence, user engagement, cost-containment strategies, & education to create an employee-focused healthcare experience.

  1. Healthjoy
  2. Healthiest You
  3. CastLight
  4. Zest Health

Through an app like Healthjoy, an employee can have a virtual assistant who acts as a healthcare advocate, finding high-value care which fits into the plan guidelines and the option to uncover savings on prescriptions and medical bills.

As a business owner or leader, I encourage you to ask yourself why you aren’t providing a technology platform for navigating benefits?

  • Is it because of the cost? Benefits are likely your second largest business expense. Lets run your benefits business more effectively.
  • Are you unaware if there are barriers in your healthcare experience? Let’s talk with your employees. You know, the humans we are trying to take care of. 🙂
  • Is your consultant/broker not telling you about the options? Maybe 20 years of broker experience doesn’t mean much today. Maybe they give you the same benefits they give everyone else……making you like ‘everyone else’.

It doesn’t matter what generation you belong to, we all want the same thing we have always wanted from our healthcare plan: ease of use & clarity.

I (Jessica Du Bois) am a Benefits Consultant dedicated to the Employee Experience & eliminating wasteful spend. I work with Employers who strive for a benefits program which is tailor-made for their most valued asset- *Their Team. Jessica.dubois@bbgbroker.com

Team= Employees you care about.