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January 2021  Volume 19, Number 1        

This Just In ...

The Importance of Educating Employees About Health Care Benefits

Researchers have historically believed that employees make poor choices when offered too many health care benefit options. Now a new analysis shows that even two choices can be confusing.

The Conversation, a nonprofit news organization, discovered that when employees were given two choices, one fourth chose the plan that was financially worse. Both plans offered the same non-cost benefits, but most chose the higher premiums and lower out-of-pocket expenses. The analysis found that 97 percent would have been better off with the plan that had lower premiums but higher cost-sharing because their health risk factors were low.

While experts recommend helping employees make better informed decisions by providing research and analysis tools, they also recommend employees be informed about:

  • Benefit and plan summaries: These explain in detail what the plan offers. Some plans include programs to help employees better manage their health such as case management or telemedicine.
  • Member ID cards: Network, group and member numbers and the insurance company's phone numbers are on ID cards.
  • Provider directories: Employees usually pay more if they go out of network; they must know where to find the directory, or how to check participation by their provider online.
  • Discounts: Some health plans offer discounts. The carrier's website is a good resource.





In this issue:

The Importance of Educating Employees About Health Care Benefits

Are Employer-Mandated COVID-19 Vaccinations Legal?

Health Care Benefit Trends for 2021

Could Employer Retirement Accounts Change in a Biden Administration?

What You Need to Know About Disciplining Employees for Not Social Distancing



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