4 Tips for Introducing Your Employees to a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

Let’s face it – Open Enrollment is a stressful time for everyone – especially for employers and employees. Explaining the value of different benefit options to your employees can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, especially if there are changes from last year.

To help combat rising health insurance costs, many employers are offering High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) that have lower premiums than traditional PPO plans. While lower premiums are attractive to employers and employees, some employees are hesitant to enroll in an HDHP.

So, how do you introduce your employees to an HDHP without freaking them out? Below are 4 tips that will help you ease your employees into the discussion about HDHPs and will help explain the benefits of these plans.

1) Focus on the benefits the employees will have and what it will cost

Don’t overwhelm them with all the details. Chances are, your employees aren’t interested in hearing about how HDHPs are meant to incentivize them to be more careful with expenses or to lower skyrocketing premiums and costs for the company – that’s what’s important to you, not them. Focus on the information that will mean the most to them.

2) Explain HDHPs as a cohesive program that costs less

Most HDHPs include a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). If you explain the HDHP and HSA/HRA as two separate items, your employees might become confused or think that the plan is too complicated to deal with.

Instead, emphasize how the HDHPs will help employees gain control of their expenses. Also, explain the company’s financial contributions towards their costs if your company is offering an HSA or HRA.

Instead of calling the plan a “High Deductible Health Plan,” try calling it a “Low Premium Plan.” HDHPs are low premium plans, and your employees might react better to the word “low” than “high.”

3) Use visuals to show the cost difference between HDHPs and traditional plans

Don’t just tell your employees about the savings – show them the savings!

To create a visual comparison that shows all possible costs, be sure to include:

  • Premiums
  • Estimated out-of-pocket
  • Additional costs (like RX costs)
  • Worst case scenario

Below is an awesome bar chart created by MeetAlex that shows the costs and savings of the HDHP plan versus a traditional HRA, PPO, and HMO plan.

HDHP comparison

4) Explain the plan details using plain English, not insurance terms

Insurance terms leave most employees (and let’s face it, most people in general) bored, confused, or overwhelmed. To ensure your employees are really listening and understanding the value of an HDHP, use simple, conversational English. Imagine that you’re creating the presentation, so that a 7th grader could understand it – that’s the goal!

If you have any questions about high deductible health plans, how they work, or the benefits of offering an HDHP, please call us at (972) 673-0045 to talk with a knowledgeable Group Benefits Client Service Specialist.

5 tips for introducing an HDHP to your employees

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