Skip to main content
Survey Report

Chapter 7 — Enhancing employee experience with choice and technology

2018 Practices in Health Care Employer Survey

Global Benefits Management|Health and Benefits
N/A

January 3, 2019

Find out how U.S. employers are managing health care costs and addressing employee wellbeing to achieve a healthy, high-performing workforce.

Choice

Employers realize benefits matter more than ever in order to remain competitive and to attract and retain their workforce. As a result, employers are beginning to place employee wants and needs at the forefront of their decision making. Currently about a third of employers host surveys, focus groups and town hall meetings to identify employees’ wants and needs, and by 2020 almost 60% of employers expect to do so.

While only 12% track Net Promoter Scores to evaluate employee satisfaction with their benefits today, that figure might triple in the next two years. While Net Promoter Scores have been used successfully with many consumer products to measure customer loyalty, alternative survey approaches that provide more insights into the wants and needs of detractors and promoters should be considered as well.

To address the different needs of employees, employers are taking steps that improve choice and flexibility and enhance their members’ experiences with their health plan (Figure 20). Some examples of choice being offered include:

  • Provide choice in health plan options.
  • Sponsor or offer a variety of benefits such as voluntary benefits.
  • Offer a choice of insurance carrier.

Furthermore, employers are aligning their health and wellbeing initiatives with their EVPs and Total Rewards strategies. For example, 42% of employers make workforce perks a core part of the EVP. We evaluated more than 100 perks in 10 main categories, including:

  • Childcare services
  • Time off for volunteering
  • Onsite conveniences and concierge services

Figure 20. Employers provide different choices and worksite perks to enhance the member experience with health care programs

Chart illustrating employer provided choices and perks to enhance employee experience

*“Planning for 2019”
^“Considering in 2020”
Sample: Based on respondents with at least 1,000 employees
Source: 2017 and 2018 Willis Towers Watson Best Practices in Health Care Employer Survey

While choice may address the differing needs of employees, it also creates a requirement for tools to support decisions. Nearly three-fifths of employers offer tools to support navigation of health care services, and just over half provide recommendation tools that support enrollment decisions (Figure 21). We are seeing an increased use of chatbots and “intelligent” technology within portals and enrollment engines to provide a more personalized and guided experience when selecting benefits.

Technology

Employers have a strong interest in adopting new health technology solutions to improve the employee experience with their health benefit plan. Some of the health technology solutions that employers have their eyes on include:

  • Enrollment and benefit decision support tools
  • Concierge tools and services to simplify health care navigation
  • Wellbeing-focused technologies that keep the employees’ wants and needs at the center of the equation
  • Technology to help monitor and treat health conditions such as diabetes
  • Digital health services that provide more convenient delivery of care
  • Connected devices to monitor improvement and provide real-time feedback

So far, only 24% of employers think they have made progress with health technology solutions over the past three years, but 56% of employers think it will be important over the next three years. Making progress on this goal may be a challenge for organizations because only two in five employers have enough budget to adopt new technology solutions.

Figure 21. Employers are looking for superior tools to enhance the enrollment experience

Chart illustrating employer provided choices and perks to enhance employee experience

Sample: Based on respondents with at least 1,000 employees

Figure 22. Nearly one-fifth of employers are planning to or considering to offer a variety of types of benefits to enhance member experience

Bar graph indicating nearly one-fifth of employers are planning to or considering to offer a variety of types of benefits to enhance member experience

Sample: Based on respondents with at least 1,000 employees

Figure 23. Various tools are provided to support employees' decisions and monitor their health and wellbeing

Bar graphs illustrating tools provided to support employees' decisions and monitor their health and wellbeing

*“Planning for 2019”
^“Considering in 2020”
Sample: Based on respondents with at least 1,000 employees

The technology solutions that most interest employers are tools that improve health care navigation and benefit elections. The ging interest coincides with the increasing popularity of offering more choices (Figure 22). In order to support this ging trend of choice, employers require tools that help employees make informed decisions both when enrolling and seeking care (Figure 23). Top technologies of interest include:

  • Navigation tools
  • Decision support services
  • Condition management apps and devices

Best practices: Employee experience

  • Offer recommendation tools that support enrollment decisions
Charts illustrating 59% best performers, 45% high-cost companies, 14% best performers' lead

 

Contact Us