Informed Enrollment Strategies to Move the CDHP-Adoption Dial

This is an advertorial on the Strategies for Success in Benefits.

Thursday, December 6, 2012
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A large national corporation had award-winning wellness strategies in place -- from innovative be-fit campaigns and on-site ambassadors to disease-management support and self-serve kiosks. Its human resource department was using every best practice in the book for improving employee productivity and well-being.

Recently, the company was focused on helping employees become more accountable for their healthcare-service use and more involved in choosing the right benefits for their specific situations. The company also wanted to reduce the percentage of employees who were over-insured and to better control long-term costs.

One tactic used to reach those goals was to move more low-risk employees to the company's consumer-driven health plan. The underlying assumptions of the CDHP were that a healthy, stable employee would choose this type of plan because of its lower premiums, and that the employee would utilize fewer unnecessary healthcare services if more of the employee's money was being used to pay for the services.

During the previous enrollment period, efforts directed at increasing CDHP participation had fallen short. Only 15 percent of employees chose the CDHP, while 75 percent opted for the plan that cost the company the most to implement.

Solution: Help Employees Make the Best Choice

The employer hosted a focus group to better understand employees' benefit decision-making. HR learned that, while benefit choice adds value, employees had trouble navigating the options. They wanted to know -- at-a-glance, in a simple format -- what would work best for their particular situation.

The company turned to Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Truven Health AnalyticsSM, formerly the healthcare business of Thomson Reuters, for assistance. The Truven Health Informed Enrollment solution offered an immediate way for employees to receive personalized communications during open enrollment -- the perfect answer for employees who needed help making the right benefit-plan choice.

Through the Informed Enrollment solution, Truven Health works with employers and their vendors to provide data that is integrated directly into enrollment systems. The data is then turned into easy-to-understand communications, customized for each employee.

The company opted to deploy Informed Enrollment content via written communications and online information through the company's employee web portal.

The Right Message, the Right Employee, the Right Time

At the heart of the Informed Enrollment solution is a custom view of each employee's historic healthcare cost and utilization summary. In addition, each employee is provided with an at-a-glance comparison of benefit plans tailored specifically to the individual's circumstances. Employees can easily customize the comparison even further by adding information about anticipated changes.

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Without searching for old documents and adding up previous expenses, employees can see right away how their healthcare needs and costs have played out in the past, and which current plan choice makes the most sense for the coming year.

Results Tell the Story

By using the Informed Enrollment solution, the company realized a 20-percent increase in the number of employees choosing the CDHP. In fact, more than 35 percent of employees chose the lower-cost plan. In addition, 30 percent of all employees changed to a new plan that better fit their needs.


Employee population included a large percentage of customer service staff, followed by sales and distribution. Open-enrollment goals were to engage employees to take control and choose the best health plan for their needs, and to increase the number of employees electing to participate in the CDHP. The organization saw a 20-percent increase in CDHP enrollment, with 30 percent of all employees moving to a new plan. For more information, visit or email


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