Decision support helps employees choose the right benefits for their specific needs. But it’s only valuable if people use it and trust the guidance. If your open enrollment is behind you, it’s time to pause, consider how things went, and look for opportunities to increase engagement in the future. 

At MyHealthMath, we’re committed to helping as many employees as possible get the support they need to choose a plan that works for them. Our tried-and-true best practices can help employers get the most value from their benefit decision support solution:

1. Plan early. Employers with the highest usage are those who start working with MyHealthMath at least a month before open enrollment starts. This gives us time to brainstorm all the different ways we can embed decision support into your open enrollment experience (including many of the items on this list). It also gives you time to learn about the solution, so you can talk about it knowledgeably with your employees.

2. Give people time to use decision support. For busy employees, enrollment decisions can often turn into that chore that everyone neglects because no one wants to do it. Get ahead of this by allocating designated time for employees to use the decision support tool and compare their health plan options. And if you can, try to keep your open enrollment window open for more than a week.

3. Choose a tool that is easy (and dare we say it, FUN) to use. Studies show that employees would rather do pretty much anything other than consider their health plan options. This means you need a solution that’s user-friendly, intuitive, and full of personalized support. Some must have features? Phone-based customer support, an online application that takes less than 10 minutes to complete, and the option for employer-specific education modules.

4. Build a team of champions. Consider all the people who talk to your employees about health benefits: your HR team, your department leads and managers, your broker and benefit consultants, and your health insurance representative. Spend time making sure that everyone who talks about benefits knows how to advocate for decision support. This means highlighting what makes it great (we’re talking potentially thousands of dollars saved!), explaining how it works, and sharing a link to get started.

5. Share your decision support solution everywhere. If you treat decision support like a nice-to-have afterthought, employees won’t use it. Instead, be proactive. Include messages about it everywhere, inviting and, if possible, requiring employees to use it during open enrollment. Put it in benefit guides; embed linkage within your enrollment platform; post flyers around your office; and send regular emails leading up to and during open enrollment. Make it impossible for employees to miss!

Pro tip: Choose a decision support vendor who puts together all of these communications for you!

6. Reward your early adopters. Word of mouth matters! Get employees excited about decision support by giving prizes to the first employees who use it. This creates a buzz and it encourages employees to engage early, so they have plenty of time to consider their decision (and you won’t have as many last- minute election decisions!).

Pro tip: Choose a decision support vendor who has built in incentive programs.

7. Make sure your decision support vendor provides detailed reporting. At a minimum, your decision support vendor should be able to tell you how many employees used the tool and the impact it had—for example, whether they followed the health plan choice guidance and, if so, how much money they can expect to save. This way, you can easily see the value of the solution, as well as opportunities to increase usage in the year to come. At MyHealthMath, we can even dive deep into demographics to see if certain populations, such as younger employees, are more or less likely to use the service. This will help us customize messaging for you in year two.

Looking for a better decision support experience in 2022? Schedule a short demo with MyHealthMath. Our personalized solution gives employees everything they need to choose a better value plan.