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Level Up Employee Engagement

Healthcare vendors can personalize the employee journey when employers provide information and data to inform outreach efforts and optimize outcomes.

Robust employee health benefits are often a deciding factor for individuals during a job search. Candidates are looking for health insurance, wellness initiatives, and a workplace that values mental health and balance. According to statistics published by Collective Health and Harris Poll, 78% of adults in the U.S. say benefits factor into whether they’ll accept a job offer or not.

But once on board and enrolled, many do not take full advantage of the health benefits and programs you offer. In fact, 33% of workers with access to medical benefits from a private industry employer do not choose to participate, according to a 2022 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics study.

Entering open-enrollment season, now is a great time to refresh employee engagement efforts and reboot data-sharing with your third-party administrators and vendors to better leverage their expertise to improve utilization, healthcare decision-making, and outcomes.

It’s a double-down effort that pays off, and it all begins with more consistent and population-centered information. Let’s explain.

Data-Share—Give More

When submitting employee information and data to third-party administrators and healthcare vendors, are you providing multiple ways for them to contact your employees? Do vendors have access to employee participants’ phone numbers (work and personal) and email addresses?

While the suggestion might seem obvious, unfortunately, many of us are giving bare-bones information to vendors, which results in them spending time acting as a researcher—hunting down contact information during employee outreach efforts. Lack of accurate contact information creates a bottleneck and delays in communications and outreach. Then, your employees are not receiving the responsive insights and programs that you are investing in as an employer.

We know that it can take multiple times for an individual to even realize they incurred a single message. So, by giving a supplier multiple ways to connect with employees, you significantly reduce this “wait time” and fast-forward engagement.

During open enrollment, deliver employee contact information to vendors. That way, the experts you enlist to administer or provide your employee benefits can establish an immediate touchpoint and deliver a more customized experience. Don’t forget to educate your employees that a vendor may be calling to assist them with their healthcare journey.

‘The Who’—Your Employee Population

Beyond sharing employee contact information, there is valuable insight you can provide vendors so they can better tailor stories to your employee population.

The I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (Homeland Security) is required of every employer who recruits, refers for a fee, or hires an individual for employment in the U.S. While the purpose of this form is to establish that an employee is eligible to work in the U.S., it is also used to verify an individuals’ identity.

The information contained in this form also holds great value to third-party administrators, vendor, and you, as an employer, because it sheds light on ethnicity and cultural background, which strongly influences how employees’ access and utilize healthcare benefits. Helping vendors understand the diversity of your workplace will allow them to customize communications, improve engagement, identify opportunities to close demographic barriers, and deliver better outcomes and cost containment. This, in turn, improves employee retention, productivity and the bottom line for your business. It’s a win-win-win.

As the saying goes, information really is power. And in delivering healthcare benefits, information is the power to engage and ultimately maximize your investment. By adopting these two key data-sharing practices into your open enrollment process, you are leveraging the expertise and resources of your vendors—and improving the overall experience for your employees and their dependents.

About Health Action Council 
Health Action Council is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization representing mid-and large-size employers that enhance human and economic health through thought leadership, innovative services, and collaboration. It provides value to its members by facilitating projects that improve the quality and moderate the cost of healthcare purchased by its members for their employees, dependents, and retirees. Health Action Council also collaborates with key stakeholders – health plans, physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry – to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the community.

Patty Starr bio image

About the author

Patty Starr

Patty Starr is president and CEO of Health Action Council and is responsible for driving the strategic direction of the organization--build stronger, healthier communities where business can thrive. 

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