Starting A Plan

Executives who are considering offering consumer-driven health-care plans will want to take the following steps:

  1. Educate employees. They'll need to know how the new plans work. Typically, bringing employees up to speed requires five to six months.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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