If you were to ask a handful of people what they want from a health plan, there’s a pretty good chance the following demands will appear on the list.  For employers, recognizing these consumer demands can go a long way in providing your employees with the best health plan options and experience available.

According to survey results from multiple studies, five core fundamentals really stood out on consumer preferences in healthcare. 

Here’s the list:

  1. Convenient Access Points

Nearly two-thirds of consumers would consider seeing a health care provider through a video visit, according to a 2017 American Wellness survey.  Communicating with a doctor by smartphone, laptop or tablet can often meet a person’s immediate needs, right where they are.  On the brick and mortar side, retail clinics are in high demand across the nation.  The number of these clinics have increased more than 500 percent between 2006 and 2017, according to a recent study.  These days, most health plans include telemedicine and mini clinics.  Are you promoting and reminding employees of these conveniences?

  • Quality Care

When consumers choose a health care team, trust and relationships matter.  Offering employees a strong network of providers with a proven record of outcome and quality is key to employee satisfaction.  There are many resources available on the internet for consumers to comparison shop and evaluate providers. Remind employees to do some research when seeking a new provider.

  • Affordability

Price isn’t just about how much is being deducted from an employee’s paycheck for health care. Next to payroll, benefits is likely an employer’s second or third highest expense.  Educating employees on how to compare deductibles, out of pocket expenses and maximum limits, new plan options such as high deductible health plans, and Health Savings Accounts can help employees stretch every benefit dollar.  Employee elections are typically locked in for the year.  Help employees to choose their health plan wisely.

  • Easy to Use Online Tools

A 2016 poll revealed 84 percent of consumers preferred to interact digitally with their health plans yet only 56 percent of consumers said their health plans perform well on website and mobile management.  There’s a big gap between what consumers want and what they are experiencing in the insurance digital world.  Employers should educate employees on different ways to access their health plan’s online offerings.  Many insurance companies encourage subscribers to create a secure and personalized account, so they can look up benefits and claim information.  Remind employees to create an account with their carrier.  This not only creates efficiencies but is environmentally friendly due to creating a paperless environment.

  • Member-Centric Customer Service

Attention to customer satisfaction is no different for the healthcare industry than any other industry.  Employees have a more satisfied experience if they feel valued and do not have to jump through hoops to get results.  How resolutely a health plan resolves common issues such as benefit eligibility, claims, and billing inquiries, for example, determines the strength of an employee’s emotional connection with the carrier.

From the rush of open enrollment to keeping pace with the ever-changing benefits industry, employers are juggling multiple tasks and challenges.  At TDG, we connect clients with the right benefit options that come from a deep understanding of emerging trends, sound risk management, new products and services, and marketplace dynamics.  This is what sets us apart from our competitors.

Feel free to reach out to your dedicated Team Member at any time if you need ideas or support on how to give your employees a great health care experience.