Improving health literacy year-round: Benefits communication planning for 2021
Low literacy has been linked to higher rates of hospitalization and less frequent use of preventive services, both of which drive up health care costs.
By Kim Buckey|January 19, 2021 at 10:01 AM
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The open enrollment period is complete at most organizations – congratulations, employers! This year’s open enrollment season required special attention and effort from most HR teams and their partners. Communicating with a remote workforce and answering questions about health plans in the middle of a pandemic – it’s not easy. It’s also not over.
Open enrollment is just the gateway into employers’ year-round benefits communications efforts. While helping employees choose a plan is important work, it doesn’t guarantee that employees will know how to use it effectively throughout the year. In a 2020 consumer survey, less than one-third of respondents knew how concepts such as coinsurance, premiums and allowed amounts applied to their coverage. Yet, interestingly, 67% of the same respondents said they were confident they understood how their health plan works. This contradiction paints a similar picture seen throughout the industry – that almost all Americans overestimate their understanding of health insurance concepts (that is, their health literacy).
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