One of our larger clients who over the years took pride in building a rich benefit program came to us perplexed because they felt many of their group benefit offerings were going unnoticed and underutilized by their employees.
Employee benefits today tend to be complex and confusing and when combined with the stressors most employees face in their personal life, it’s a challenge to assure that they maximize utilization of all the benefits presented by their employers. For this client, we decided to recommend an added focus on education and continual support for their employees in the forms of benefit administration technology, a 24-hour nurse line and telemedicine. Since many employees work outside of the typical 9-5 day, their access to and awareness of the benefits they require needs to be readily available to them 24/7.
Employees became more engaged by having access to a benefits portal around the clock and they enjoyed having easier access to care via the telemedicine program and 24-hour nurse line. Although the number of utilization occurrences increased with the advent of these programs, total claim utilization dollars actually dropped since a good deal of non-emergency care was handled without the need for employees to incur more costly trips to the doctor’s offices, specialists and emergency rooms. Overall, the first year utilization decrease was sufficient to offset the cost of the programs and still produce a $66,000 savings for this employer.