February 18, 2015 – Arlington, VA – An analysis of the top 10 questions asked by full-time active employees who enrolled in health plans effective January 1, 2015, on Towers Watson’s OneExchange shows that when offered a meaningful choice of health plans on private exchanges, first-time enrollees need basic information about their plan choices and how health insurance works. This underscores the importance of employers and exchange providers offering education, decision support tools and personalized, expert advice to help employees choose the plans that are best for them and their families.
Here are the top 10 questions employees asked, with implications for employers and employees alike, going forward:
1. Which plan has the lowest cost?
Using premium cost as the most important criterion for making health plan choices could be a mistake, because the least expensive plan is not always the best one for a given individual. Other factors that should be taken into consideration include employees’ health status, the doctors and hospitals they use, and the prescription medications they take.
2. What are the copays for the medical plans being offered?
Historically, employees have gravitated toward the predictability of preferred provider organization (PPO) health plans with copays, but they may not understand that these plans may cost more out of pocket and may not be the best plan choice for them. Some employees may be surprised to learn their employer doesn’t offer any copay plans. In these situations, it’s important to explain that there may be plans of similar value even if they have different coverage features.
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