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Employees who understand the total costs and coverage of their benefits are happier at work.

Unfortunately, about 75% of U.S. workers say there are things about their coverage they don’t understand, making them more likely to think they’ve wasted money, according to a 2017 Aflac Workforces Report. It’s an unnecessary frustration that you can help them avoid.

Decision support tools guide employees to make more informed decisions about which plans are best for them based on how much they use their benefits, what their family looks like, and much more.

That same Aflac study notes that job satisfaction and benefit satisfaction are “significantly higher” among employees who have help understanding costs and plan details.

What Is A Decision Support Tool?

Decision support tools make complicated benefits decisions easier. For example, let’s say an employee wants to opt into life insurance, but isn’t sure how much coverage they need. A decision support tool could help them make an informed choice about their coverage.

Decision Support Module

Benefit-needs calculators, plan comparison tools and flowchart systems are all tools that help employees make better benefits decisions.

How Do Decision Support Tools Help Employees?

At Winston Benefits, we have built decision support tools that give employees the opportunity to estimate their out-of-pocket costs based on where they live and how often they utilize their medical insurance. It’s information they wouldn’t otherwise have access to or even sometimes realize that makes a difference. But with it, whether they’re low, average or high utilizers, they’ll be able to choose the ideal plan for themselves and their families.

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Decision support tools also help employees find the right policy by framing information in ways they understand. For instance, we know employees would rather categorize themselves as a “high,” “average” or “low” utilizer of health services than answer 10 or 20 questions. So, we break down information to help people choose the ideal plan for themselves and their families based on these utilization categories.

How Can Employers Add Decision Support Tools?

The first thing to focus on is your employee population, not any specific tool. Discover what they want and how they use benefits.

For your organization, it might be discovering if they’re mostly going to read the information on their mobile device and want a quick, high-level decision support experience. Or, they may want a more in-depth explanation to cover all of the features of the financial wellness program you have.

Understanding and addressing the knowledge gaps is an effective way to encourage better benefit selection and result in long-term satisfaction with benefits. Decision support tools are one of a business’s best methods to prove that the benefits they provide are truly valuable.

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