- Educate employees. They'll need to know how the new plans work. Typically, bringing employees up to speed requires five to six months.
- Develop the infrastructure. If employees are to make educated health-care decisions on an ongoing basis, they need the tools that will allow them to do that. That means making available information on health-care providers, disease management, medical studies and the like.
- Thoroughly examine potential vendors. This is a new market with new providers. Employers should ensure that their vendors have the resources and will to stick it out. Otherwise, they'll be hunting for new carriers a few years down the road.
- Keep expectations reasonable. Many employees take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to health care. The number of employees who typically sign up the first go-round generally is around 10%, says Chris Delaney, head of marketing for plan provider Definity Health, Minneapolis.
Starting A Plan
Executives who are considering offering consumer-driven health-care plans will want to take the following steps: