The American workforce is increasingly uninspired by anything standard or expected when it comes to their work experience and work environment.
As a result, creating and marketing a strong brand has become critical for HR professionals looking to differentiate their organization as an employer of choice. Benefits consultants can help clients achieve this goal by recommending the right mix of benefit options and personalized support that can turn a standard benefits offering into a highly valuable experience that supports all aspects of employee health and well-being.
Why does this matter? In today’s hiring environment, the value of experience with positive benefits cannot be overlooked. Consider the fact that almost 80% of employees who have recently used the healthcare system experienced an average of three challenges; this complexity impairs the physical and mental well-being of employees. This may be why only 29% of employees said they were very satisfied with their health benefits, and only 66% said they were at all satisfied.
How healthcare navigation can help differentiate your customers
In the race for talent, you can help your customers differentiate their organization by offering healthcare navigation.
Health Navigation is a solution that employers can offer as part of their overall benefits program. Most healthcare navigation companies offer platforms that connect employee members with their covered care delivery options and help employees make better use of their health insurance.
However, only healthcare navigation that is coupled with care coordination minimizes complexity and acts as an extension of the client’s HR team, providing one-on-one support to employees and their families. This approach to navigation gives employees the information they need to make decisions and take action to achieve optimal healthcare outcomes. This results in more informed and efficient use of benefits, highly engaged health plan members, better health outcomes at lower costs, and a workforce that feels supported and cared for.
The ideal healthcare navigation partner can intervene early in the employee’s journey, offering proactive support and clinical guidance with critical decisions such as identifying providers, managing complex diagnoses, and completing claims paperwork. They also help streamline the administration of point solutions and increase employee use of their shared benefits ecosystem.
3 things to know when recommending navigation
Your customers have a number of decisions to make when designing and managing a benefits program. As consultants, you can help them by understanding how healthcare navigation can bring together diverse and disparate offerings into one seamless experience for their organization, their HR team, and their employees. Below are the top three factors favoring consultants that consultants say are paramount when choosing a navigation partner during the 2021 industry survey.
- Offers a single point of contact for employees The ideal navigation partner gives employees omnichannel access to their benefits via portal, mobile app and phone and provides personal and empathetic support. Better access means more engagement and a better experience, making it more likely that employees will use their benefits appropriately.
- Support staff with clinical expertise In addition to offering provider and claims support, the ideal healthcare navigation partner will offer employees direct access to clinical experts who provide proactive recommendations and reactive guidance that improves clinical outcomes. These guidelines ultimately lead to greater utilization of preventive care services, fewer hospital days, and fewer hospital readmissions.
- Demonstrates claims savings Healthcare navigation combined with care coordination reduces complexity for employees, helping them make informed decisions and better use their benefits. This approach, in turn, contributes to cost savings for health care claims. For example, healthcare navigation experts promote the use of preventive care, help employees search for providers in the network, and select more cost-effective locations for care, all of which generate sustainable reductions in claims costs for employers.
As your clients begin to consider and make decisions about next year’s benefit offerings, you can demonstrate your expertise and value by helping them understand how healthcare navigation can improve employee engagement and satisfaction and support talent retention and recruiting – all while strengthening their bottom line.
Veronica Knuth is Chief People Officer for Quantum Health.