Businessolver Blog

How Personalized Decision Support Drives Benefits Success

How Personalized Decision Support Drives Benefits Success
Posted on Monday, July 17, 2023 by Sherri Bockhorst

Personalized decision support isn’t just another HR buzzword. Data from our latest Benefits Insights report shows that 85% of employees are confused about their benefits.

Don’t count on that that stat improving in 2024, either. Over the past five years, benefits confusion has continued to trend down while confusion trends up. Meanwhile, HR’s burden grows larger with greater complexities and rising healthcare costs. But decision support can help address both of those issues. 

Benefits are constantly evolving to meet different aspects of employees’ lives, from pet insurance to medical benefits. But while the benefits shelf may be wide, many people may feel stuck trying to figure out which benefits to pull down for themselves. When decision support is in play, though, the right-fit benefits are easier to find and enroll in.  

Empowering employee choice with benefits decision support 

One of the key aspects of personalized decision support is the ability to assess a person’s unique needs, from lifestyle to financial. Decision support can account for these and help people estimate costs, evaluate deductibles, compare premiums, and analyze potential out-of-pocket expenses.  

Did you know that 45% of employees said they would feel panicked about an unexpected medical expense? While decision support can’t account for all possible scenarios, it can help mitigate surprise by recommending options that could help employees plan for the unexpected by asking a few simple questions like: 

  • How would you pay for an unexpected expense? 
  • Do you have surgery planned for this year? 
  • How many prescription medications are you on? 
  • How much of a risk-taker are you? 
  • Do you have a family history of illness? 

With a clear understanding of what’s the best fit, employees can make informed decisions that provide the best coverage specifically for them.  

Encouraging cost-effective benefit planning and engagement 

In today’s economy, finances are top of mind for everyone. But should you really be making your benefits decisions solely on the monthly premium? (The answer is no, but we understand why some people might.) 

Businessolver’s decision support tool, affectionally referred to as the MyChoice Recommendation Engine (MCRE), helps balance in employees’ financial concerns alongside their overall wellbeing needs. Because sometimes investing a little more upfront can pay large dividends for your health and your wallet in the future.  

Case in point: 60% of employees who used the MCRE decision support tool elected a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) and a health savings account (HSA). When decision support is unavailable or not used at enrollment, only 20% of employees enrolled in an HDHP and an HSA. Pairing a pre-tax savings vehicle with a health plan means employees are able to put aside planned dollars for their health needs and reap some tax benefits along the way.

Personalized decision support drives HR efficiency 

Choosing the right benefits and insurance plans can be overwhelming, especially when employees are presented with numerous options. Personalized decision support simplifies the process by guiding employees through a step-by-step selection process. These tools often include interactive questionnaires that gather relevant information about employees’ needs, preferences, and lifestyles. Based on this input, employees can get personalized recommendations, streamlining the plan selection process. 

Personalized decision support tools provide employees with comprehensive information about benefits and insurance options. Tools like the MCRE can help employees explore and compare plans, coverage details, costs, and features. By accessing this information independently, employees can make well-informed decisions without relying on HR or benefits administrators to navigate them through enrollment. This empowerment fosters a sense of autonomy and control over their benefits and insurance, promoting employee self-service. 

Beyond decision support’s impact at enrollment, it also provides the groundwork to support employees year-round. By leveraging smart technology, like personalized decision support at the time of enrollment, HR can access a greater level of reporting that reveals the types of questions your employees are asking and what their benefit interests look like. And best of all, employees are largely open to sharing their claims data. We found that 70% of employees are willing to embrace an opportunity to use claims data in their benefits decision-making.