Changes to Insurance Policies from Employers
Employers may change their employees’ insurance policies for a variety of reasons, ranging “from changes in demographics, impacts from government regulations, and reducing company budgets due to economic factors” (luther 2017). They could even change their policies even if “the employees will have to pay more in fees in order to keep their health benefits” (FreeAdvice Staff). Employers must tell their employees about these changes so that they can see how these changes affect their livelihoods.
Employers should inform their employees about the changes to their insurance policies. They need to talk about these changes “[early] and [often]” with their employees, adapt “[unique] communication styles and preferences” to different generations of people employed in their business, frankly give their reasons for alterations to their insurance policies, and issue “information and resources so that they can get the maximum benefit from their new insurance and retirement savings plans” (Taylor 2017b). Employers could send them documents about the changed policies with information such as “rate schedules,” “coverage amounts,” and “basic benefit information” (Taylor 2017a). Translations of these papers into other languages help employees whose first language was not English (Taylor 2017a). They should provide employees “an annual statement of total compensation to all employees. This is a document that is organized by salary, benefits, and other perks that the company offers to employees. It is a written document that shows in black and white how much the company is investing in every employee” (Taylor 2017a). Employers could also schedule meetings with benefit plan administrators and employees about the changes (Taylor 2017a). They could post information about these changes on their “web-based benefit portal” and even social media, “such as Facebook or Twitter…” (Taylor 2017a). Some changes, such as employees being more responsible for paying for their group benefits due to higher premiums, may cause them to complain, but talking about these changes with them could help “maintain high levels of employee morale and retention” (luther 2017; Taylor 2017b).
With new information about their insurance policies, employees could adapt to the changes. For instance, regarding dental insurance, employees need to check for any changes to the policy’s dental networks, coverage to certain routine and major procedures, pre-existing conditions, etc. (Perfect Teeth 2017). In another example, employees have to consider their budget in relation to increased health insurance premiums (Taylor 2017b). Employers could also teach employees to reduce the costs of their healthcare and insurance benefits in response to those changes (Forbes 2013). For instance, employees could utilize urgent care locations “instead of the more expensive emergency room visit,” use “Tier 1 prescriptions when possible,” going to doctors in their network, etc. (Forbes 2013).
Employers can change their employees’ insurance policies, but they should inform their employees about these changes. Consequently, the employees could then prepare to make any changes to their lifestyle in relation to their insurance policy.