Rising health insurance costs and pandemic fatigue have coupled together to create unique challenges for higher education institutions—particularly in relation to employee benefits. Benefit teams are tasked with building robust benefit packages that protect employees’ physical, mental, and financial health, while fitting ever-rising insurance premiums costs into narrow budgets.
During the pandemic, MyHealthMath helped multiple higher education institutions address costs while bulking up benefit packages by offering personalized benefit decision support. Decision support helped employees better understand their health plan options and choose the plan that best protects their health and wallet—all while saving the employer on premium costs.
The Problem: Higher education leaders must contain costs while protecting the health and wellness of their employees
Rising premiums for employer. HR teams are facing significant cost constraints, including rising premiums. In 2021, the total average employer cost rose to an estimated $13,360 per employee, up from $12,501 in 2020. With this increase, employers must find new ways to control costs—ideally without passing the increased costs onto employees.
Increased employee turnover. Employees are currently leaving the workforce at a higher rate than before. In fact, 35 percent of higher education institutions report higher turnover within their employee base between 2020 and 2021. According to PLANSSPONSOR, high turnover reflects employees struggling with work/life balance and feeling neglected by their employer. A recent study by Fidelity Investments found that some employees feel they are not provided with adequate benefits and resources, which can then bring on career dissatisfaction.
Decreased employee morale. Morale is low for many educators across the country as they are facing increased burnout and frustration, with experts drawing attention to declining optimism among higher ed staff. Employers are struggling to find ways to meaningfully support staff in these uncertain and costly times.
How personalized decision support helps
Decision support decreases employee and employer costs while increasing employee satisfaction with their benefits. Importantly, employees ranked having good health and dental plans among the most important benefit for increasing morale.
Here’s a breakdown of why getting employees in their optimal plans makes a big difference:
Seventy eight percent of employees reported they’re more likely to stay with an employer because of their benefits program. Flex hours, PTO and a 401(k) are all important benefits but the most important benefit for employees is an optimal health plan, according to United Insurance. Employees who feel satisfied with their benefits package will feel more valued, achieve better health outcomes, and ultimately be more productive and satisfied at work.
Increase value of the benefits package.
Tools that save employees money can set an employer’s benefits package apart from the competition. Employers can tell prospective hires they receive a decision support tool that can save them thousands on their health care costs.
By helping employees choose more cost-effective plans, institutions will save on premium costs. Decision support also increases usage of savings vehicles like HSAs, which have tax advantages for the employer and employee.
Provide a better environment.
By offering a personalized tool that matches employees’ health needs to their optimal plan, institutions can forward a more inclusive, healthy, and productive culture.
How a university used decision support to enhance their benefits package
To help improve employees’ benefit experience, a private university partnered with MyHealthMath to give employees Decision Doc—a uniquely personalized decision support platform. Decision Doc helps employees understand which benefits match their specific health needs, so that employees get the coverage that best protects their health and wallet.
Decision Doc was made available to over 1,000 employees and helped them choose between three plan options. The results were impressive:
75% of employees who used Decision Doc chose the optimal plan.
Decision Doc users saved an average of $2,767.
Increased Use of High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) are often underutilized—even though they come with lower monthly premiums. If HDHPs are combined with a Health Savings Account (HSA), people can pay their deductible, plus other qualified medical expenses, using tax-free money set aside. HSA balances roll over year to year, which can build up reserves to pay for health care items and services needed later and be used towards retirement investments. With increased education, HDHPs and HSAs can protect people’s health and financial security for years to come.
Decision Doc users moved to an HDHP 9x more often than non-users.
Decision Doc users in an HDHP are contributing 35 percent more to their HSA compared to non-users.
Rising costs and increased dissatisfaction amongst employees can be eased by simply adding a decision support platform to their benefits package. It will save them and their employees money while also increasing satisfaction. Benefit support has been proven to control costs for the employer while providing employees with affordable, high quality health care.
Get started today! Visit www.myhealthmath.com/demo
How we calculate savings: We match all Decision Doc users to a pre-and post-open enrollment census so we can accurately show which users change plans, how this affects employer costs, and the expected impact this will have on employee total costs.