Employers Need to Brush Up on Benefits Communications
WASHINGTON -- Employers that want employees to be savvier when it comes to meeting health care needs should work on their communication skills.
According to a recent Watson Wyatt survey many U.S. employees don't understand how their health care coverage works and admit their familiarity with the most basic health care vocabulary needs improvement.
In its survey of nearly 2,100 covered workers, Watson Wyatt found that a top challenge for 43% of workers is understanding what their health care plan covers. Moreover, less than half are comfortable explaining common health benefit terms, such as co-pay or deductible, to a friend or coworker. And fewer than one in four feels comfortable describing health savings accounts, coinsurance and terms such as formulary and center of excellence.
The survey also found that most employees like to receive communication about their health care benefits in print. When asked to rate several delivery channels, about seven in 10 said they prefer print materials mailed to their home or provided at work. Slightly fewer (64%) prefer receiving information via the Internet. Less than half (46%) favor face-to-face meetings.