Advice to Employers Adopting Exchanges: Don’t Let Employees “Go It Alone”

December 8, 2014

As more employers and individuals adopt health insurance exchanges as delivery platforms for health insurance plans, it has become clear that enrollment assistance is essential. This is especially the case for individuals who may be choosing their own health plans for the first time.

An analogy can be drawn between this experience and being asked to do one’s own taxes for the first time, said John Barkett, Director of Policy Affairs for Towers Watson Exchange Solutions, during a recent interview on Wharton Business Radio. Much like seeking tax help from a certified tax preparer, people choosing health plans on exchanges are looking to application assisters, navigators, and brokers to help them enroll in the right health plan to meet their needs.

Barkett detailed the benefits of enrollment assistance, whether in person, over the phone, or online, in a recent bylined post for the Institute for HealthCare Consumerism. Said Barkett, “Providing individuals with the right kind of assistance could be the “x factor” for exchanges – the wildcard variable that could make the difference between success and confusion.”

In light of the recent trend of empowering employees as “health care consumers,” Barkett provided a series of steps for employers to support their employees enrolling in plans on an exchange. Among them are educating your employee population and taking into account size and demographic of your workforce.

For the complete list of tips, click here to read Barkett’s byliner on the IHC website.

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