Health Benefits Engagement vs. Experience: know the difference

The term “employee benefits engagement” has become one of the most talked-about topic today in HR today. But what exactly is benefits engagement? How does it differ from benefits experience? And to what extent should benefit leaders be focused on or concerned about it?

Employees’ experience with their health benefits is rooted in emotion, and they own it. They formulate the image of their experience as a result of all the interactions they have with the benefits provided by their employer. It is the cumulative impact of all touch points that determines the overall experience.

Benefits engagement, on the other hand, is each direct interaction that an employee has with the benefits. Contacting a call center for understanding coverage, visiting a doctor, receiving a claim statement are all interactions. All it takes is one negative interaction to damage the memory of the entire experience and the association with their benefits, which ultimately leads to a disengaged employee.

Companies need to think beyond individual interactions and focus on the ongoing journey to improve the ROI of their benefits spend.

Just like a customer’s journey does not start when the customer buys something -it starts when a customer wants something or has a need. The same concept is true for health benefits. The employee’s benefit journey should be an integrated and enduring experience that evolves as the employee interacts with her benefits at every touch point.

Traditionally companies have left benefit interactions to multiple providers, each narrowly focused on their own service or a program. The result – most programs are unused, employees are unaware, and benefits teams are constantly looking for answers.

It is time to take charge. Benefit leaders must recognize and define all aspects of their benefit strategy around delivering great employee experiences across multiple benefits. They need to ensure that every touch point (both physical and digital) is optimized and working to deliver engaging and satisfying experience. They should deploy new technologies to deliver integrated, consistent, contextual, and personalized engagement often to achieve better business outcomes.

While many companies recognize the importance of engaging employees with their benefits, they may find it difficult to know where to start, what to prioritize, and when to act. If you’re interested in learning more about how to improve benefits’ engagement, and elevate every member’s experience – contact us. We are happy to help.

Meeting the Changing Demands of Health Benefits

Working in employee health benefits is a very rewarding experience. There are only a few opportunities in corporate life that offer the ability to positively impact the lives of so many people. However being a benefit leader is a hard job. The complexity and ever-changing landscape can be quite challenging.

The latest challenge is the explosion of new point solutions in the health benefits market. Besides medical, dental, vision and pharmacy, benefit leaders are constantly sifting through voluntary, supplemental, indemnity and many other types of benefits. On top of all this, hundreds of new and innovative digital health benefits are available in the market – each claiming to impact health outcomes and reduce costs. While a thriving ecosystem of health benefits can be a great thing, for many companies it has become a source of aggravation, with growing administrative and technology burden of implementation and engagement.

The expectations of employees from their health benefits are also changing faster than ever before. For several years now, companies have been steadily shifting the cost burden (premiums, deductible and copay) to employees, who have now started to expect personalization and suitability of offered benefits to their unique needs.

How can companies meet the fast changing demands of health benefits, and provide a delightful experience to employees?

They can start by bring all benefits together in a single platform. This is much more than providing links on your intranet. This is about truly integrating benefits – on one website and mobile app. One login to access all benefits, integrated appointment scheduling across providers, integrated health records, claims and a seamless, unified interface for employees.

With such a platform, you can start to monitor what programs are working and fix which ones are not. You can start to personalize programs to meet the specific needs of each employee. You can start to engage employees by presenting them the right care, from the right provider, using the right benefit, at the right time.

There is no doubt that benefit leaders are working very hard to make a difference in employee’s health and well-being. Having a command-and-control system to manage and optimize all benefits will make their life easier and provide them the ability to deliver personalized and complex solutions, regardless of their size.

Leverage mobility to drive employee engagement in health programs

We’re entering an era, where everyone likes their experiences to be immediate and catered to their preferences. That’s why your benefits communication should evolve from intranet-based links to human-centered, year-round mobile interactions to engage employees.

Even though many benefit plans and providers currently offer their own mobile apps and websites – most of these apps are rarely used by employees. Multiple logins, inconsistent, incoherent experience are big barriers to utilization.

It is time for you to have your own fully integrated benefits mobile app. An app that integrates all benefits into a single place and provides a simple, unified, consistent experience to your employees and families.

The goals of your mobile app should be global availability, simplicity, personalization, and a one-stop shop for all benefits.

With your benefits experience mobile app, your employees can access and utilize all benefits in a way that works best for their family. To further the impact, you can provide them a simple way to check coverage, view medical records, tests, Rx history, claims and even make payments using integrated HSA account.

The personalized digital experiences delivered through your mobile app can make benefits’ support immediately accessible to any employee, anywhere, and at any time. This will increase utilization of your programs and improve employee engagement and satisfaction.