Employers lose 9 hours a week answering benefits questions: Study

HR professionals spend an average of nine hours a week answering questions from members about benefits, according to a survey by HealthJoy. What would you do with an extra day in your week? 

One in five employers surveyed by the Society of Human Resources Managers said communicating benefits to employees was one of their biggest challenges. Only 19% of employers say their workers have a firm grasp of the benefits available to them, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.


You Can’t Impact The Past: ↑ Advocacy + ↑ Quality = ↓ Cost

Thursday, May 20, 2021, 2:00 PM ET / 11 AM PT

Unlike most things, healthcare services have an inverse relationship between cost and quality: the better the quality, the lower the cost. Unfortunately, the current health benefits market is completely opaque and lacking any meaningful, realistic transparency. Additionally, we have always been taught that easy = better when designing health benefits programs for employers and their employees. However, the cost and quality of healthcare can vary dramatically within the same city. Utilization Management for example, where your members access healthcare, is one of the single most important additions to your health plan design.

Start by getting your employees the information they need, at the time they need it. More dynamic messaging can help you connect with members throughout the year. For example:

  • Text messaging. Outbound text messages have higher open rates — 98% — than email, and a 209% higher response rate than phone, email or even Facebook. 
  • Company chat platforms. With more workers dispersed in remote offices or at home, chat tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams are replacing quick stops by a colleague’s office. Employers can pin updates, nudges or disclosures where workers will see them. 
  • Chat bots. For answers to routine questions, chatbots can help members find information quickly and easily, and direct them to their benefits manager for more complex questions.