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Five tips to help improve employee benefit engagement

Annual enrollment can be a stressful time for employees, but it doesn't have to be. When employers use it as an opportunity to educate and engage employees, it can become a positive experience and set the tone for a healthy and successful year.

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1. Keep communication concise and open

Although it is important to communicate all of the useful benefits included in their health plans and how they work, too much information can be overwhelming. According to a 2022 survey, 80% of workers suffer from information overload, up from 60% in 2020.

Communicate important information in bite-sized amounts over a longer period instead of one massive communication. That way, there's a higher chance of them reading the message and feeling less intimidated by it.

Two-way communication channels between HR and employees should be open and easily accessible, in case there are questions. This helps reduce confusion and lowers frustration since employees aren't hunting for answers.

2. Be transparent about costs

As time goes on, everything gets more expensive – and health care is no exception. Whether employers take on the increasing costs or include them in health care premiums, it is important to be transparent. Communicate with employees about the rising costs of care and what the company is doing to mitigate the costs. Include in these communications all the features and tools available to help them save on their regular health care services.

For example, Allstate Benefits offers telemedicine services for common conditions, mental health, and musculoskeletal care. We also offer search tools to help find high-quality, affordable providers.

3. Make enrollment fun

Organizing activities centered around health and wellness is an engaging way to get employees thinking about their overall health. Host department walks or group yoga and end each session with a Q&A, or direct attendees to resources available with the company health plan and guides for using them.

4. Employees come first

People have varying health needs. Including employees in the decision-making process can help them feel involved in their benefits and help them understand their options better come enrollment time.

A great way to gauge what employees need in a health plan is to send out an anonymous survey. You can include questions such as:

  • Do you have interest in joining the company's group health insurance plan?
  • Would you add a spouse or children to your coverage?
  • Do you prefer to pay lower monthly premiums and more out of pocket? Or do you prefer to pay higher monthly premiums and less out of pocket?
  • Do you prefer having a more expansive network, even if that means paying more for coverage?
  • Would you sign up for vision or dental benefits if offered?
  • Would you take advantage of wellness programs or telehealth services?

5. Stay flexible to changes

According to a 2022 Pew Research Center study, 43% of respondents said they left a job in 2021 because the benefits were not good enough. Of those respondents, only 42% said they saw an improvement, while 58% said their options were similar or worse in the new position.

Just because something is acceptable, doesn't mean it can't be improved. This study shows that many employees are ready and willing to leave a current role if they aren't satisfied with what the company offers.

That's why it is important for companies to stay flexible and amenable to changing their offerings to fit their employees' needs.

How Allstate Benefits can help

Allstate Benefits is a leading provider of employee benefits. We offer group health products for employers with 2 to 500 employees that prioritize employee wellness and access to care.

Along with health offerings, we have resources available to help employees better understand how to use their benefits.

Reach out to your Allstate Benefits Group Health sales consultant today.

The Self-Funded Program through Allstate Benefits provides tools for employers owning small to mid-sized businesses to establish a self-funded health benefit plan for their employees. The benefit plan is established by the employer and is not an insurance product. Allstate Benefits is a marketing name for: Integon National Insurance Company in CT, NY and VT; Integon Indemnity Corporation in FL; and National Health Insurance Company in CO, WA and all other states where offered. For employers in the Allstate Benefits Self-Funded Program, stop-loss insurance is underwritten by these insurance companies in the noted states. National Health Insurance Company, Integon National Insurance Company, and Integon Indemnity Corporation are rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best.

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