CASE STUDY

Helping Employees and Their Families Make Smart Benefits Choices

Learn 4 key ways to drive open enrollment engagement.

The Challenge

A direct-sales consumer product company had launched a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) paired with a health savings account (HSA). But participation was low — in fact, only 30% of employees chose to enroll.

The company’s HR leaders turned to HUB for help.

4 steps that more than doubled enrollment

HUB’s Communication and Design team identified four key factors discouraging migration to the plan, and developed a communications strategy to address them — ultimately more than doubling enrollment.

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30%
ENROLLMENT

Step 1

Give Them a Reason

ISSUE

Communication about the benefits plan took place only during open enrollment and focused solely on how the plan worked — not on the reasons to participate.

SOLUTION

The HUB team developed an ongoing communications strategy that applied to the three key phases of enrollment:

  • Before: Focus on selling the advantages of the plan
  • During: Provide clear guidance as to where and how to enroll; connect employees with resources (guides, summaries, etc.) that facilitate enrollment
  • After: Target enrolled employees, teaching them how to navigate and make the most of the plan

TACTICS

The HUB team recommended marketing-style, promotional communications that focused on the advantages of the plan, as opposed to simply explaining how it works. These included:

MICROSITE 
(“Why you should enroll”)
PODCAST 
(“How the plan can work for you”)
PRE-ENROLLMENT EMAIL SERIES 
(“Did you know?”)
YOU'RE RIGHT!

49% of employees don’t understand the benefits materials provided by their employer — and 30% don’t see any value in their benefits.

Learn more about using communications to drive employee engagement.

GET TIPS ON EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
*Source: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, 2016
WELL, ACTUALLY,

49% of employees don’t understand the benefits materials provided by their employer — and 30% don’t see any value in their benefits.

Learn more about using communications to drive employee engagement.

GET TIPS ON EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
*Source: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, 2016

Step 2

Make It Simple

ISSUE

Employees found the benefits communications content-heavy and complicated. Rather than drawing people in, the materials created a barrier to engagement.

SOLUTION

The HUB team simplified, shortened and clarified communications. This meant:

  • Writing at an eighth-grade level
  • Delivering smaller, more targeted communications, more often
  • Employing visuals and infographics to help explain difficult/complex concepts
  • Providing clear explanations of common benefits terms

TACTICS

Content was reformatted to aid comprehension and engagement, making use of:

INFOGRAPHICS 
that explained complex benefits concepts using easy-to-follow visuals
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDES 
that outlined how to use benefits in real-life situations
EASILY DIGESTIBLE EXPLANATIONS
, glossaries and “did you know?” factoids
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
YOU'RE RIGHT!

Half of all employees say they are “not very” or “not at all” knowledgeable about HDHPs — and a full 28% perceive them as “risky.”

Learn more about how clear, consistent benefits communications can drive engagement.

GET TIPS ON EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
*Source: 2017 Alex Benefits Communication Survey (Harris Poll)
WELL, ACTUALLY,

Half of all employees say they are “not very” or “not at all” knowledgeable about HDHPs — and a full 28% perceive them as “risky.”

Learn more about how clear, consistent benefits communications can drive engagement.

GET TIPS ON EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
*Source: 2017 Alex Benefits Communication Survey (Harris Poll)

Step 3

Reach Out to Decision-Makers

ISSUE

Much of the information provided about the benefits plan never reached employees’ spouses and partners, who are key decision-makers and users of the benefits plan.

SOLUTION

The HUB team developed an outreach plan to engage employees and their families at home — before and after open enrollment.

TACTICS

Communications vehicles directly targeted external decision-makers and influencers. These included:

PRE-OPEN-ENROLLMENT NEWSLETTER 
and enrollment-reminder postcard
MICROSITE 
that existed outside the company firewall and offered access to information, tools and resources, including:
  • Downloadable podcasts, guides and brochures
  • Registration for educational opportunities
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
YOU'RE RIGHT!

90% of employees who have a spouse or partner would like their significant other to receive benefits communications. 46% believe it’s absolutely essential.

Learn more about the audiences you need to consider in your benefits communications.

GET TIPS ON EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
*Source: 2017 Alex Benefits Communication Survey (Harris Poll)
WELL, ACTUALLY,

90% of employees who have a spouse or partner would like their significant other to receive benefits communications. 46% believe it’s absolutely essential.

Learn more about the audiences you need to consider in your benefits communications.

GET TIPS ON EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
*Source: 2017 Alex Benefits Communication Survey (Harris Poll)

Step 4

Follow Up with Them

ISSUE

Employees were receiving benefits communications only during the open enrollment period, which limited ongoing engagement and chances of re-enrollment.

SOLUTION

HUB developed a post-open-enrollment communications strategy to reinforce and nurture engagement among enrolled employees and their families.

TACTICS

Following open enrollment, targeted communications included:

INSTRUCTIONAL PLAN BROCHURE 
(“What to do when you need medical attention”)
PODCAST 
focused on understanding and using the plan (“Benefits 101”)
EMPLOYEE SURVEY 
(“How can we improve?”)

The Result

Following implementation of the HUB communications strategy, participation in the HDHP/HSA more than doubled, with 65% of employees migrating to the new program.

The increased awareness and ongoing engagement tactics have also positioned the company to continue to increase enrollment. This is important, as it will enable the organization to retire its previous benefits program — a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan — in the near future, with minimal disruption to employees.

65%
ENROLLMENT

Get real solutions, from real people, in real time.

Do your benefits communications need an overhaul? Take the next step and talk to a HUB advisor.

Together, we can build a strategy that meets your needs today and prepares you for tomorrow’s challenges.

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