Nearly half (48%) of employers offer a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) — which is one of only proven ways to keep rising health costs at bay — yet just 7% of firms offer this plan as their only option. Here’s how to change that. 

The key to making the eventual move to a CDHP-only workplace is in the transition. So says Deb Dominianni, the vice president of strategy for Pinnacle Care, a health service company.

Because the transition is a difficult one for employers and employees alike, here are some Dominianni’s suggestions to make the process as painless as possible:

1. Ease their confusion

Even the most traditional health options can be confusing. So a CDHP that requires employees to make regular, educated decisions can be overwhelming. Because CDHPs shift both costs and responsibility onto workers, the move can cause plenty of negative feelins — and even hurt worker productivity and engagement.

So HR pros must be able to guide workers through the ins and outs of the process and show workers how the plan can benefit both them (decreased premium costs) and the company as a whole.

2. Offer expert help

HR pros shouldn’t have to shoulder the transition to a CDHP on their own. Healthcare brokers are a great resource to help answer workers’ questions and alleviate any unfounded concerns.

Another option: Health advisory services. These services can provide workers with one point of contact for access to expert resources and second opinions. When it comes to high-cost medical claims, these contacts encourage better, more-educated decisions, which in turn leads to lower costs, absences, etc.

3. Make it personal

One of the most effective ways to speed up the CDHP-transition process is to tailor it to your specific worker groups. How? By offering education that’s tailored to specific worker groups. Example: One company held separate CDHP education meetings for families, domestic partners and single employees, so each group could focus more closely on their unique concerns.

Another option: Use real-life examples or hypothetical “personas.” Jennifer Benz, founder of Benz Communications, says creating personas – or “people-like-me” scenarios – that show how the plan will apply to various employee groups makes it easier for employees to understand how CDHPs will impact them.

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