How do we help our employees start looking at their healthcare as more than a paycheck deduction? John Rebol from Higgenbotham joins us to discuss how we can all be consumers of our healthcare.
Our Special Guest: John Rebol, Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist and Employee Benefits Consultant, from Higginbotham HR Services
With over 20 years of experience, John Rebol is passionate about working with clients to find the right benefits for their companies, focusing on education and wellness.
Many employees are not fully educated as to what the company’s healthcare policy has to offer. This can lead to unnecessary claims or out-of-network expenses that raise premiums. We discuss how upper management needs to take the lead in educating and creating wellness programs that affect change.
Key Questions/Topics Covered
How can you be a consumer of your healthcare?
It doesn’t need to be complicated; in fact, it is quite simple. It starts with education. Do your employees know what their benefits package includes? Unfortunately, many do not and are losing out on valuable resources or making costly mistakes. Management's responsibility is to ensure that every employee fully understands what programs are available and how to access them properly.
For instance, consider EAP’s or Employee Assistance Programs. These programs are there to help by offering completely confidential counseling by trained professionals. We all have low points and would benefit from a listening ear. Unfortunately, though, they are very much underutilized because people are not even aware of their existence. Mental health directly impacts employee performance, and this can be mitigated by staff accessing these helpful resources.
In addition, being a consumer of your healthcare also means making sound financial decisions. For example, do you and your employees know where your network urgent care centers are located? The time to do this is prior, not during an emergency. By ensuring you know where to go, you can avoid costly out-of-network expenses by making snap decisions in the heat of the moment. Out-of-network costs not only affect the employee they also can lead to higher premiums for everyone.
By being informed and organized, you and your staff can ensure that you take full advantage of your healthcare plan and avoid higher co-pays by staying within your network.
How are you encouraging people to pay attention to their healthcare?
Again, it’s simple. Healthier lifestyles mean fewer claims, which leads to lower premiums. Employers need to be aware of this and develop a plan to help their employees make better lifestyle choices. This can range from healthier food choices to encourage a more active lifestyle.
What kind of incentives can companies use to help employees stay healthy?
Get the employees involved in developing the company wellness plan. Upper management needs to take the lead and be patient. The more the company comes together to work on the project, the better long-term benefits will be seen.
To get the ball rolling, you can get your staff to come up with the name. Naming the program gives a sense of involvement that will encourage participation. Then you can start to brainstorm different ideas that the staff would like to do.
Positive wellness programs – Everyone’s responsibility
At the end of the day, everyone needs to be better consumers of healthcare. Management needs to ensure that employees are educated regarding everything their healthcare plan entails. Conversely, employees need to take advantage of the programs available to ensure they are achieving wellness.
A healthy employee is a productive employee. By viewing their health as an investment rather than an expense, you can show them that you genuinely care.
It doesn’t take much. Just get started!
What one actionable tip could you share that has served you well as an educator?
My hope is that this show helps everyone to start something positive.John Rebol
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