The Need Quality Benefit Communication Improves Employee by warwar123


									                              The Need:
 Quality Benefit Communication Improves Employee Satisfaction and
Retention, Saves Money, and Improves Financial Performance – But Few
                   Organizations Do It Effectively

   A majority of health plan members rate their insurer lowest for the communications and
   information provided to help them understand their plans. (J.D. Power and Associates)

   Only 45 percent of health plan members say they fully understand how to use their health
   insurance coverage. (J.D. Power and Associates)

   “With increasing health care costs and an aging workforce that needs additional services,
   businesses have less and less tolerance for insurers that aren't consistently engaging
   members and helping them manage their own health care and the associated costs.” (Jim
   Dougherty, executive director, health care practice, J.D. Power & Associates)

   According to a survey by MetLife, roughly a quarter of employees said HR departments
   could make the benefits selection process easier by providing more information about
   benefits (23 percent); by providing more information about benefits (23 percent); and by
   offering “guidelines or instructions for „people like me‟” (24 percent). (2008 Open
   Enrollment Survey)

   Two-thirds of Americans surveyed by the Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America
   described their health plan as difficult to understand. (“Benefits & Behavior: Spotlight on
   Group Medical”)

   “(P)lan members who are most engaged by their insurer through effective communication
   better understand how to use their plans and have particularly high satisfaction levels
   (that) translate into better retention rates.” (Dougherty)

   Among workers who said they have access to resources that help them make informed
   benefits decisions, 82 percent were satisfied with their packages. In contrast, only 51
   percent of those who said they did not get needed resources said they were satisfied with
   their benefits. (MetLife 2008 Open Enrollment Survey)

   “Employers that focus on low per-member-per-month charges for overly broad
   communications pieces may want to consider more focused, and oftentimes more
   expensive, communications that could have a bigger impact on overall understanding and
   satisfaction.” (Employee Benefits Adviser, June 2008)

   “Employee retention is linked with benefits satisfaction. For employers to realize the full
   retention value inherent in offering a comprehensive set of benefits, their employees must
   understand and appreciate what they receive.” (Randy Stram, vice president, MetLife
   Institutional Business)

   "(T)he industry's collective challenge is to get employees to think more proactively about
   their health." (Tim Bireley, vice president, Group Medical, Guardian Life Insurance)
Two common qualities of organizations that deliver lower-cost benefits are: 1) they
communicate all health-related messages through a single look and brand; and 2) they
target communications to employees as well as families. (2007 SHPS Health Practices

Effective employee communication is a leading indicator of financial performance:
Companies with the most effective internal communication programs provided a 91
percent total return to shareholders – about 50 percent higher than firms that
communicated less effectively; and improved communications effectiveness is associated
with a 15.7 percent increase in market value. (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

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