Survey finds employers can reduce costs through employee healthcare plan education

More employees reported less confidence in knowing their healthcare plan

Survey finds employers can reduce costs through employee healthcare plan education

An Optavise report about employee healthcare benefits revealed employers are missing out on reducing costs as a result of skipping the provision of education to employees with regard to the coverage of their healthcare benefits.

According to the 2023 Optavise Healthcare Literacy Report, about 68% of the 1,061 respondents are extremely confident about understanding how their healthcare plan works. This is lower by 3% compared to data from last year. There is also a decrease in the percentage of employees taking the time to compare costs of medical services or prescription drugs before incurring expenses, down to 35% in 2023 from 38% in 2022.

Only 35% of the respondents would check on the network status of the healthcare provider, resulting in the employee having to spend out of their pocket. Only 35% responded that they compare treatment and service costs among healthcare providers. Out of those who do not compare costs, 67% had no idea they could compare costs.

“The more employees understand how their plans work and how their decisions affect their out-of-pocket costs, the more satisfied they will be,”  said Kim Buckey, vice president of client services at Optavise. “By providing consistent, year-round healthcare literacy education, employers can ensure their employees aren't overspending on healthcare, which saves money for all involved.”

Data shows there is a decrease in one-on-one discussions with human resource (HR) personnel for benefits education, down to 26% in 2023 from 28% in 2022. Meanwhile, the use of online resources of employers increased to 63% in 2023 from 53% in 2022. Only 68% of employees find the online resources helpful, compared to 84% of employees who prefer one-on-one discussions.

Around 46% of employees get to understand their benefits through the help of family, friends, and coworkers, and only 27% of employees learned about this information from their employer’s HR personnel.

When finding what demographics impact the knowledge gap, the survey found the pay range and the age range would most likely have an impact. Only 62% of respondents who are making less than $50,000 reported feeling very confident about understanding their healthcare benefits. Meanwhile, only 60% of Gen Z reported having great confidence in understanding their healthcare plan, compared to 80% of Baby Boomers.

Optavise surveyed 1,061 people who are working in industries that are not a part of the insurance industry in the U.S. and have healthcare benefits. Researchscape, an independent market firm, fielded the survey.