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Why UX is the Future of the Employee Benefits Experience 

Why UX is the Future of the Employee Benefits Experience 
Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 by Kimberly Dunwoody

Prioritizing the user experience (UX) creates a workforce of confident and informed benefit consumers. 

Tech-enabled experiences are quickly raising the bar for status quo when it comes to consumer experiences. In every industry, people are challenged to not only simplify complex information, but also deliver it in a delightfully personalized way. 

To drive a more effective and empathetic benefits experience for their employees, HR should look to UX to help drive value and understanding across their benefits program.  

What does UX have to do with employee benefits? 

User experience, or UX, describes an effort to create a smooth, successful experience typically in a digital setting, such as a benefits administration platform. UX can come in many forms, like personalized communications or automated rule-based actions, to help employee seamlessly enroll in their benefits or deliver the right information to users in the moment of need. Simply put, UX is both the seen and unseen aspects of how people interact with something. 

Creating the path of least resistance, UX principles can help employees connect the dots to take ownership of their health journey. Empowered by empathetic, personalized technology, employees don’t need to be a benefits professional to stay on top of their regular care and feel confident they can navigate unexpected health emergencies.  

From that angle, UX is poised to help ease the experience for employees to become more knowledgeable about their benefits and optimize their choices while helping HR drive holistic value across the program. 

With only 15% of employees feeling self-assured in their benefits knowledge, prioritizing UX can promote benefits success for the majority of your workforce by helping to remove barriers to care and literacy, like: 

  • Using familiar language instead of jargon 
  • Guiding employees to relevant and timely resources to access their benefits 
  • Using employees’ preferred communication methods 

How can UX drive better outcomes for employee benefits? 

As healthcare cost and inflation continue to rise, more and more Americans are struggling to make ends meet.

Today, 70% of employees are living paycheck-to-paycheck. This coupled with consumers’ preferences for digital self-service resources, it is as important as ever to apply the best UX practices to help employees make the most of their benefits. Not only does engagement prevent expensive long-term conditions, it also allows for preventive cost-effective care. 

By eliminating jargon, UX creates a more intuitive experience, so employees have the right information at their fingertips.  

When decision support is available at the moment of enrollment, employees are three times more likely to elect a best-fit-for-them plan design compared to their peers. Often, these decisions are also the most cost-effective, such as a high-deductible health plan paired with a health savings account.  

SofiaÔ, Businessolver’s virtual benefits assistant, uses familiar language to help employees navigate and understand their benefits. Our data shows that of employees who interacted with Sofia (chat or call), 90% experienced a same-day resolution, meaning they didn’t need to need wait for urgent health and benefits answers. More than that, more than a third of chats occurred on nights and weekends, furthering self-service.  

A member experience like Sofia, which also allows for custom announcements to specific population groups, makes it easy for members to find answers themselves. And benefits administrators have more time in their day to focus on strategic business objectives.  

As healthcare continues to evolve, benefits confusion isn’t going anywhere.  

Prioritizing UX across your employee benefits experience, from selection to activation, can help bridge this gap and provide employees with in-the-moment support to drive meaningful outcomes. And of course, a workforce full of positive health outcomes is one with productive, loyal employees sure to be ambassadors of your organization.  

How do today’s employees feel about their health and benefits? Our annual Benefits Insights Report reveals the thoughts and behaviors of more than 500,000 members, collected while they made benefits decisions during the last AE season.