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Tips for Communicating Health Benefit Information to Employees

Communicate often — Do not just communicate with employees once a year during open enrollment, because employees often have questions throughout the year. They are also continually receiving a lot of health information from other sources, including health care providers, pharmacists, friends, and the media. Employers need to make sure their messages are heard and that means continually communicating with employees.

Use a variety of media — Use different methods to communicate with employees, including e-mail, automated telephone systems, a company intranet, kiosks, payroll stuffers, and other written material delivered at the workplace and to home addresses.

Use materials that are easy to understand — Make sure employees can understand the health benefit options. This might mean producing materials in other languages because you employee a large number of individuals for whom English is not their native language. You might have to develop materials at lower reading levels because some employees may not have higher education levels.

Tell employees what is in it for them — Employees are less interested in how a new health benefit is saving the company money than they are in learning how it will benefit them personally.

Hold individual and group information meetings and workshops — Give employees the opportunity to review benefit options and ask questions either in person, by video or Web conference, or by phone with human resource or benefits managers.

Use interactive materials to ensure employee understanding

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