Between 2000 and 2020, the percent of employees covered by self-funded plans increased from 49 to 64 percent. This reflects an enormous shift in employers moving to self-funded plans—where the employer takes on the cost of some or most benefit claims. Employers are attracted to self-funded plans because they have the potential to give employers greater flexibility and control over their health benefit offerings. 

Moving to a self-funded model is a big decision, often requiring months or years of planning. Decision support is one simple strategy that can help set benefit teams up for a successful transition. Here’s how.   

Better communicate changes to employees. 

Change is always hard. Especially when it involves something as important as health insurance. That’s why employee education and communication are essential considerations for any employer switching to self-funded insurance.   

Employers will need a comprehensive strategy for helping employees understand how and why their insurance model has changed and how this will affect them. For example, is the employer switching health carriers? Are new health plans or plan design changes being introduced? Has switching to a self-funded model allowed for better employee benefits? Even if little is changing for employees, employers still can expect questions about why the model has changed and who will benefit.  

Decision support offers personalized guidance to every employee—a level of support needed to build buy-in for a major benefit change. Decision support helps employees compare their benefit options, so they can choose those that best match their health needs, reducing concerns about coverage changes. Plus, as a neutral third party, decision support gives employees unbiased guidance; and when rolling out major benefit changes, employees need guidance they can trust.  

Why Decision Doc: Employees can access custom messaging and resources about their benefit changes, not to mention connect with live analysts.   

Give more support to benefit teams. 

Switching to a self-funded model often increases benefit teams’ workload. Employee education is just one of many tasks on a lengthy to-do list. And developing communication materials and responding to employee questions can end up taking more time than expected.  

Decision support can help by taking on the bulk of employee education. HR teams can direct employees to the decision support service to receive personalized guidance and connect with resources and FAQs. Along with protecting benefit teams’ time, decision support increases the likelihood that employees get the support they need to understand and get the most value from the benefit changes.  

Why Decision Doc: We want to help HR teams, not add stress with another install. That’s why Decision Doc’s simple three-step install process is built to fit into the busiest pre-open enrollment setting. Then, once we’re live, all questions come to us.  

Check out this video to learn more.  

Understand employee behavior patterns.  

After introducing a benefit change, it’s important to understand how employees reacted to the change. Did they choose different benefits? Did they understand the changes? Did they feel supported? The answers to these questions will inform the following year’s benefit strategy.  

Decision support gives benefit teams a deep understanding of how employees engaged with their benefits. Advanced solutions show employers:  

  • Who used the decision support tool, whether they changed plans, and how this movement will affect their costs based on their expected medical needs.  
  • How well each plan serves each employee based on their individual health utilization.  

Together, this data helps brokers and HR teams better understand utilization and plan choice trends.   

Why Decision Doc: All MyHealthMath clients receive a Decision Doc Impact Report, which takes a deep dive into how Decision Doc affected employee plan choice and how benefit offerings serve employees based on their health care usage. Learn more here.  

Making changes to your benefits this year? Schedule a no-obligations demo of Decision Doc to see how it can support employees.