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More and more companies are making high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) an option—or, increasingly, the sole choice—for employer-sponsored health coverage. So it’s important to provide clear communication that helps employees understand how HDHPs operate and whether the plans are right for them.
For 2013 and 2014, HDHPs carry minimum deductibles of $1,250 for individuals and $2,500 for family coverage. They are considered consumer-driven plans when linked to health savings accounts (HSAs) or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), which
give participants a financial incentiveto spend health care dollars prudently.
“As more employers offer high-deductible plans, they need to make efforts to ensure employees and their families are properly educated about the plans and the financial opportunities and risks,” advised Jen Benz, president of Benz Communications. “While many employees can save money with a high-deductible health plan, they aren’t for everyone. Where employers offer a choice of plans, they can help employees make the right decisions by explaining the possible risks, helping them understand their financial responsibilities and showing them how to compare health plans.”
Benz suggests using the following to explain high-deductible health plans:
“Clever use of a communication campaign can help employees more accurately gauge whether a high-deductible plan is right for them—and prevent the financial problems that often result when a high-deductible plan is selected by employees better served by another type of plan,” Benz added.
Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM. Follow him on Twitter
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