Now that open enrollment is over, and we’ve officially started a new benefit year, it’s important to help your employees maximize their benefits in the year ahead. Higher engagement with their benefits plan is a win-win: better health for your employees, and lower healthcare costs for your organization.
Following open enrollment, which often involves in-depth presentations, office hours, and communications to employees, it’s best to keep your end-of-year benefits communications simple (which is one of our behavioral science principles HR and benefits leaders can use to engage their employees).
Employees need to know two things: what action items they should complete and when they should do them. To-do lists are a straightforward way to communicate these two things to your team, helping them get organized and stay on track with their health goals as they wrap up one benefits year and transition into the next.
There are two basic health benefits checklists you can put together for your employees:
- One to help them make informed healthcare decisions for the new benefit year
- One to help them take full advantage of the benefits available to them before the current benefit year ends
Here are two sample checklists you can use as a starting place and adapt for your company’s specific program needs.
Checklist #1: Heading into the new benefit year
As the new benefit year kicks off, here are a few items to take care of so you start your healthcare routine off right.
- Review your statement of benefits coverage (SBC) to familiarize yourself with what’s covered under your plan.
- Look at deductibles and out-of-pocket amounts to know how much you’re financially responsible in the coming year.
- Clarify healthcare plan changes and make necessary adjustments (for example, choosing new doctors, finding new pharmacies, locating your nearest in-network hospital and urgent care).
- Explore your HSA (health savings account) and FSA (flexible spending account) options, particularly if this is your first time signing up.
- Explore any new healthcare benefits, including telemedicine, mental health apps, and chronic condition management programs. Make sure your dependents sign up for services available to them as well.
Checklist #2: Maximizing in-year health benefits
Before the benefit year ends, here are a few actions to take to ensure you get the most out of your insurance, FSA, and other healthcare offerings.
- If you’re behind on annual screenings (for example, mammograms or colonoscopies), schedule an appointment before the end of the benefit year.
- Make sure you (and any family members on your plan) are up to date on immunizations and vaccinations.
- See your primary care physician for an annual wellness exam and make sure your family members do too.
- Take care of any procedures or tests you’ve been putting off, like blood work or other lab tests recommended by your doctor.
- Take advantage of your vision benefits, including exams, contract refills, or ordering new glasses.
- Schedule a semi-annual dental cleaning. It's free with most dental plans!
- Refill any prescriptions, especially if you have a chronic or acute condition, to avoid any possible delays if you’re switching doctors or plans in the new year.
- Max out your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) pre-tax dollars before they expire. A lot of items are eligible for FSAs — more than you may think. A few examples include:
• Alternative healthcare like acupuncture or chiropractic care
• Mental health appointments
• Medical supplies such as vitamins, first-aid kits, and over-the-counter medications
By clearly communicating the actions employees should take to prepare themselves for the end of one benefit year and the start of the next, you’ll make great strides toward helping them make informed healthcare decisions and prepare for the year ahead.
Guide your employees to smarter healthcare choices with Amino
Amino is the smartest, easiest way for your employees to find and book high-quality healthcare. Our digital healthcare guidance platform uses cost, quality, and network data to recommend the best providers and benefits programs for a member’s health needs and coverage. As a result, your plan avoids wasteful claims spending, and members get convenient access to high-quality healthcare options whenever they need them.
Ready to improve employee health benefits engagement? Amino Guidance makes it easier than ever to direct employees to the right healthcare benefits at the right time.