Looking Back to Look Ahead: What We Can Learn From Our Industry
As someone who’s been in the healthcare space for 30+ years, I’ve seen it evolve in more ways than one. It has informed how I look at consumer experiences across the board, as well as the challenges with treating healthcare consumers like any other. When I entered the larger benefits space, I saw large employers grapple with those challenges first-hand—not just with health benefits, but with all benefits. Eventually, I came to terms with a hard truth: For benefits teams, it’s hard not to keep talking about health, especially because they want to change it.
What’s even harder is that I understand why they want to change it and what often stands in their way. If you want to change healthcare, you need to switch your mindset from your agenda to the consumer’s. The truth is, if employees aren’t thinking about health, it’s because they’re healthy—and engaged in something else. Whether it’s a new baby, a pet to care for, or a car breakdown, life gets in the way.
The relieving part? These life priorities are already on your radar! Your total-rewards package likely includes benefits in categories other than health, so if you can start showing timely communications in those areas people value, you’ll have greater success connecting them to health benefits when they need them.
The reason Evive Health pivoted to Evive is because we saw there was more opportunity. We could impact more than just healthcare utilization; we could impact usage of all benefits.
Employers we work with still want to improve health outcomes, but they have a vast amount of offerings—other benefits that just don’t get the same kind of attention. When we took a step back to reflect on where the industry has gone, we realized a different approach was needed if we were going to solve these problems.
For example, a top pain point one of our clients had was poor adherence to preventive care visits. Although this was a big issue, it interestingly got more attention after the company introduced pet insurance, a desired perk identified in their Benefits Value Survey. This drew more people to learn about their benefits, visit resources regarding them, and ultimately become more aware of health solutions. Another client saw a similar opportunity, but to direct people to a specific feature rather than a particular benefit. When they used timely messaging to reach their team about a digital employee discount card, engagement increased, that perk was used more, and awareness of all benefits increased.
Manage your expectations
If you recognize that every person has unique priorities and life circumstances, it’s unfair to expect them to visit your portal every day. Instead, think of this way: By building a communication platform that people value, people will visit on their own when they need it—and you’ll solve complex problems across health, wealth, and work/life.
In addition to reflecting on our own industry, we can look to others for guidance. I’m a big proponent of following what the retail industry has taught us: Make things simple, timely, relevant, and easy. We can connect that strategy to total rewards and see better health in the process. You’ll see more of the outcomes you want when you optimize all the benefits you have.
So the next time you find yourself focusing only on health, remember how we got here—from some benefits to all benefits. We need to reflect back before we look ahead.