In our world today, it’s essential that employees make the right benefits choices to protect themselves and their families for the coming year (and beyond). Are you leveraging financial wellbeing programs to educate your employees about their benefits?
Here’s what to look for in a financial wellbeing program that will really move the needle during the upcoming open enrollment season.
Easily scale benefits education with digital financial wellbeing tools
Real talk; Your employees likely know even less about health insurance than you think they do. A recent Policygenius survey revealed only 4% of Americans can define the four major health insurance terms properly (the terms were deductible, co-insurance, co-pay, and out-of-pocket).
As a benefits professional, you only have so much time in the day to dedicate to this type of education. That’s where offering financial wellbeing education and tools come in.
Holistic financial wellbeing programs work to break down the ins and outs of open enrollment, from the highest level (how do deductibles really work?) to the nitty-gritty (do I need an HSA, FSA, or both?).
So much of an employee’s financial life is tied to the benefits provided by their employer. Prioritize for programs that factor in these big decisions, to protect employees’ health and wealth through Open Enrollment and beyond.
Look for guidance that’s jargon-free, and goes beyond cost comparisons
Most open enrollment info is littered with insurance jargon and intimidating acronyms — so it’s no wonder that most employees will focus on what they think they understand: the cost.
By only looking at price, your employees are missing out on the whole point of open enrollment: maximizing their gains and minimizing loss in the long run by making smart decisions in the present.
One of the greatest challenges you may face this year is in educating each of your employees about what policy is right for them, and why they shouldn’t just focus on what they’re losing each month from their paycheck.
By starting the communication process early this year, you can get ahead of that last minute “check-the-middle-box” crunch. With a financial wellbeing program on your side, employees will understand not just the “how much” but the “what and why” when it comes to their benefits.
Choose a financial wellbeing program with in-house CFPs to provide personalized guidance
During stressful times, many employees want to talk to an expert about their specific situation. That’s where Certified Financial Planner™ professionals come in, to help build financial resilience for both your active and furloughed employee populations.
Your benefits team is too busy, and often not professionally qualified to answer many of the questions your employees have about their financial situation and benefits. Offer your employees the opportunity to chat online, ask questions in an email, or set up a phone or video call with a financial professional. By offering access to financial guidance well before Open Enrollment begins, you can build trust and drive engagement for your new, valuable program.
Choose a financial wellbeing program that offers Financial Advisors that are Certified Financial Planner™️ professionals (aka CFPⓇs) to ensure the guidance they provide is credible, unbiased & always in the employee’s best interest.
Add support where it’s needed most (while driving ROI)
Budgets are tight, and some employers may be looking to make changes to their benefits. We encourage you to explore where you can add value to your workforce and see tangible ROI for your organization.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, employers can see a return of $3 for every $1 spent on financial wellbeing programs. Think of the turnover cost of an employee who jumps ship for a small pay raise because they don’t have a handle on their budget. Or, the hours of productivity for an employee who’s receiving harassing phone calls from a debt collector.
Even employers who previously didn’t prioritize voluntary benefits like life insurance, disability insurance, legal services or financial coaching are starting to reconsider. That’s because they’re seeing a need and deciding to take action.
When your team members are equipped with a strong understanding of their own benefits, they can start to view these benefits for what they are: an opportunity to be proactive about their own health and to be proactive about their own financial goals.
Understanding the costs of their health, both in the short term and the long term, will allow your team members to plan into the future rather than living in fear of the financial consequences of that surprise trip to the hospital.
Header image by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.