Stephanie Dwilson

Best Ways to Introduce Your New Employee Health Plan & Benefits

Now that you’ve chosen a new employee health plan, the work isn’t over. Your next step is to find fun ways to introduce your employees to the plan and get a high level of participation. Simply telling your staff that you have a new plan isn’t enough; you have to find ways to engage with them. Here are some ideas on how you can introduce your new plan and help your staff get up to speed.

Focus on These Topics in Your Staff Meeting

You’ll likely host at least one staff meeting where you explain the new employee health plan, benefits and how to sign up. Here are a few topics that might encourage greater engagement.

  • It’s easy to switch plans: Sometimes people delay switching employee health plans or anything else they’re a member of — like a bank — because they are afraid the process will be difficult and long. During your meeting about your new plan, focus on teaching employees just how easy it is to switch plans.
  • Showcase digital applications: Some employees are really drawn to the digital side of joining a group health plan. Explain all the digital perks that come with the new insurance, whether it’s an online chat service to get advice from a nurse 24/7, a digital passport of their insurance card that they can keep on their smartphone, or an app that gives discounts to stores and gyms across the region.
  • Explain any extra employee benefits that come with the health plan: Can employees get mental health counseling? Does it include dental or vision coverage? List all of the extras that your staff might not want to miss. Some of these may be voluntary benefits that employees can add to the plan, such as accident coverage or short-term disability.

Create a Culture That Promotes Healthier Living

Your employees are more likely to engage in your health plan if the culture of your company promotes healthier choices overall. This could mean creating a wellness program that helps employees target health questions specific to their lives, whether it’s smoking cessation, exercise classes or weight loss groups. Or you might offer employees paid time off to visit a doctor or get vaccinations — items that are covered by the health plan. You could even start offering healthier snacks and drinks in the break room and discourage “presenteeism” (when employees still come to work if they’re sick).

“Game-ify” the Health Plan

Sometimes your employees need an extra push to participate in a health plan. Consider offering opportunities to “game-ify” the plan. For example, you could let employees accrue points by participating in your wellness program and then later spend those points on lowering their premiums. You could even provide wearables that are used in company competitions. For example, the person who takes the most steps in a month gets a premium deduction. If you’re going to do this, make sure that the staff understands these opportunities and how to participate when you’re introducing the new plan.

When you’re explaining your new employee health plan, you’ll need to follow rules and regulations that stipulate what you must teach. The Society for Human Resource Management offers a helpful breakdown of what you’re required to cover. But simply covering these basics isn’t enough to get your employees excited and engaged with the new plan. With a little creativity, you can engage your staff and have the best health insurance participation you’ve experienced yet.

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