How Supervisors Can Help Their Staffs in Understanding Health Insurance Advantages


I requested the students to pull out their health insurance cards at the start of my university course on the managed care sector. We talked about their HMO or PPO and how a copay and deductible function. A young man raised his hand and questioned what “crash” meant. I realized he had looked at his auto insurance rather than his health insurance card.

Why is it that vehicle insurance is more known to us than health insurance? One of the main reasons people file for bankruptcy is medical debt. But, when it comes to open enrollment for health insurance, it might be tempting for both the employer and the employees to simply check a box without doing any research or weighing the consequences of their insurance selections.


Leadership must play a proactive role, whether they are in charge of a large firm with a developed human resources department that offers extensive health insurance coverage or a startup developing a benefits package. In order to ensure that your staff members make educated judgments, it is your responsibility as a leader to comprehend the complexities and effects of health insurance products.

Offering required but underwhelming educational seminars about the employee’s options as a business leader might not be sufficient. During open enrollment for health benefits and insurance, a CEO or business leader should emphasize the significance of these choices in their communications. Also, you must think about other parts of a wellness program that employees would find appealing in addition to the perks.

Here are some pointers on how to get through the challenging open enrollment period for a company’s health insurance.

1. Keep in mind that it’s normal to be uncertain about the options for health insurance.


I’ve observed that even personnel in the health insurance sector occasionally require assistance in grasping the distinction between a copay and coinsurance. That’s OK. In my experience, instructional courses concerning the various health insurance options are rarely well-attended by HR staff. Many workers probably think that getting ready for a crucial meeting is a much better use of company time.

This is a fantastic chance to set an example for others. Senior leaders can go above and beyond by paying for a business lunch or a coffee break snack in addition to attending the conference. After all, you must become familiar with the high deductible plan option as well.

2. Consult with staff members to learn what they value most in health insurance.

Find ways to involve employees’ buy-in for health insurance options, even while you can’t provide guarantees, especially at a big organization. When the company’s health insurance benefit is being developed early in the year, encourage leadership to hold town hall meetings. It’s impossible to please everyone, but you might find that your employees are prepared to pay more premiums in exchange for a larger network and lower deductibles. A town hall meeting could be a wonderful opportunity to lay the groundwork for why employee shares will need to be greater for the upcoming enrollment cycle owing to rising insurance prices.

3. Continue to educate yourself.

Make sure the HR department—or perhaps the CEO if you work for a small business—creates, distributes, and posts a “Insurance 101” paper on the company intranet. Explain important concepts like “deductible,” “copay,” and “coinsurance.” Discuss formularies and make sure employees check the tiers for medications they and their families are taking to understand the financial implications of the insurance options. The internet is filled with useful information for this.

Even if the options are not as extensive as in the past, take the opportunity to be open and transparent and explain how these factors affect the employee’s bottom line. They’ll probably appreciate your efforts, and you can also soften the blow of higher employee contributions to insurance premiums.

4. Go above and beyond the provisions of health insurance to actively promote a healthy workplace.

Although a corporate choice or what a co-op or broker gives to a small firm may limit the health insurance options available, there may be ways to get inventive with employee wellness programs. For instance, you may establish a lunchtime walking club or consent to pay the membership fees for a fitness program that aids in the maintenance of your employees’ health. Alternately, you may propose to cover the cost of a fitness app membership or purchase training gear for the office gym.

For instance, my former supervisor would make sure that the cheeseburger with fries in the corporate cafeteria was more expensive than the health lunch options. Wellness programs can provide more than just improved employee health if you run a large firm that self-insures its workers. For overall lower health insurance costs, it can save you money.

5. Start a lecture series on health-related subjects.

If you inquire, you might be amazed at how many community groups, hospital staff, and health care professionals will be pleased to visit your workplace and speak with you about a variety of subjects, such as cholesterol, smoking, osteoporosis, or even the most recent trending health issues in the media. Also, “lunch-and-learns” can be a fantastic approach to provide useful information to the workplace and don’t require a huge expenditure.

The bottom line is that health insurance is confusing.

When presented with a plethora of health plan options during the open enrollment period, customers frequently give up and select the insurance plan with the most recognizable name-brand. But, disregarding the subtleties and tiny print might be a costly error if you don’t grasp how you share costs with the insurer and don’t take into account whether your doctors, hospitals, and medications are on the recommended network lists of the insurance providers.

You might notice improved employee engagement, increased financial stability for your staff, and a means to create a happier environment where staff members respect and trust the leadership by doing this.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.