3 questions employees are asking about their employer’s health plan this open enrollment season

With employee satisfaction on the line, employers may want to consider how to best educate employees about their benefits.

Open enrollment may signal some shifts for employees. Whether due to changes in their employers’ benefit offerings or their family’s health care needs, open enrollment requires employees to make some decisions — even if it’s simply the choice to stay covered with the same plan from the previous year.

Making a change to benefits, however, can be daunting, especially in today’s complex health care industry. The reality is that much of the workforce equates “good” group health insurance with affordability and ease of use, so it’s in an employer’s best interest to ensure their employees understand their benefit offerings.1 That may also work to improve employee satisfaction with their employer-sponsored health plan.

Here are 3 questions employees are asking about open enrollment — How much is my health insurance premium? How to check if a doctor is in network? How to find out if my insurance covers a medication? — along with tips on how to address them:

1. How much is my health insurance premium?

Before switching to a new health plan, employees understandably want clarity about costs. They want to know what will get taken out of their paycheck each month for medical insurance, as well as what their deductibles and copays will be.

That means, employers should consider cost-sharing opportunities, such as covering a percentage of their employees’ health care contributions or reducing their deductibles or maximum out-of-pocket costs.

Employers can also encourage employees to log onto the UnitedHealthcare app® or myuhc.com® to get cost estimates for care based on their specific health plan. In addition to giving employees clarity over the costs associated with any new health plan (and resources on how to access that information for themselves), employers should also highlight some of the benefits offered with a $0 copay, such as 24/7 Virtual Visits for eligible members. Employers may also want to highlight benefits that help support employees as they pay for health care, such as Care Cash®, a pre-loaded debit card that can be used to help pay towards cost sharing for certain eligible network health care expenses.

Want more open enrollment support?

UnitedHealthcare has a dedicated open enrollment and onboarding team who is committed to working alongside employers and providing them with tools and resources to ensure that their employees have the support they need to make informed decisions about their benefits.

Open enrollment support includes:

For more customizable support, reach out to your Field Account Manager

2. How to check if a doctor is in network?

People get attached to their providers. If employers are asking employees to consider a new health plan, they may want to see whether they will have access to the doctors they trust for themselves and their families.

Using the UnitedHealthcare app or myuhc.com, employees can see whether providers are in the network, accepting new patients and considered a UnitedHealth Premium® Physician, which recognizes physicians that meet guidelines for providing quality and cost-efficient care. Plus, employees can also view and compare cost estimates between different providers.

Another way to help employees make more informed decisions when it comes to selecting a provider is to offer health plans like Surest™,  a UnitedHealthcare company, which provides cost and coverage information in advance that can help factor into employees’ decisions about what provider to see and where to receive that care. Employers can help highlight the value of these plan designs and capabilities with their employees, or they can reach out to their UnitedHealthcare Field Account Managers (FAMs), representatives or broker or consultant for assistance.

3. How to find out if my insurance covers a medication?

Understanding whether prescriptions will be covered by medical insurance is critical to many employees, especially those that rely on life-saving medications, and UnitedHealthcare understands that. In fact, UnitedHealthcare was the first to make 5 vital medications — albuterol, epinephrine, glucagon, insulin and naloxone — available to eligible members with a $0 copay. Members can also see if their prescriptions are covered at myuhc.com or via the UnitedHealthcare app.

As more and more drugs come to market, UnitedHealthcare follows a screening process to ensure a drug is safe, effective and delivers value in line with the price charged by its manufacturer before determining its coverage status. Prior authorizations are designed to do the same. They help protect employees from receiving an unsafe, unnecessary or costly medication when a better alternative may exist. At the same time, UnitedHealthcare is working to make the process of getting common prescriptions simpler by eliminating prior authorizations where it’s safe to do so.

Along the way, employees may have questions that require more help. UnitedHealthcare’s Advocacy services are there to provide answers by phone or chat. 

Contact your UnitedHealthcare representative, broker or consultant for more information.

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