The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Think About Benefits Briefs


Now that your school year is well underway and in most cases you have worked your way through open enrollment (or it is just around the corner) have you given any thought to communicating with employees throughout the year about their benefits? To many workers, insurance program utilization is a puzzlement. There are so many rules, dos and don’ts and opportunities to make costly mistakes. For instance, do they know about the huge cost of a visit to the emergency room relative to a 24-hour clinic? Do they understand pre-authorizations? Do they remember to check for in-network providers? Do they use the nurse hotlines offered by many insurance companies? Do they understand that excessive utilization ends up impacting their pocketbook when next year’s premiums are set?

A key element of your HR communications plan should include continuous benefits education for your employees. It could be monthly, brief reminders about one aspect of plan utilization or about wellness. I bet you could sit down right now and make a list of twelve topics for the next year. Then all you have to do is write a paragraph on each topic, perhaps with a link to more in-depth information, and send one out each month over the next year. Your employees will more likely remember short, discrete snippets of helpful information than drinking from a fire hose at annual enrollment time.