Too much of a good thing: When employees suffer from health care “overchoice”

Too much of a good thing: When employees suffer from health care “overchoice”

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Author: Carmilla Tan, FSA, MAAA

We’re a society of endless alternatives. Just think about your morning coffee order: The barista asks you to choose between fat free, 1%, 2%, soy, almond, whole milk, or half-and-half. The options can be dizzying.

While the power of choice can be very valuable, in some instances, there can be too much of a good thing. In a recent study, shoppers were offered a $1 coupon off specialty jams if they sampled the spreads. Shoppers presented with only six varieties of jam were 10 times more likely to purchase the product than shoppers presented with 24 varieties. Choice paralysis affects big decisions as well. A large mutual fund company found that for every 10 additional mutual funds an employer offered, the rate of employee participation went down 2% – even though this meant passing up as much as $5,000 a year in employer matching contributions.

When it comes to offering employee health care benefits, too many choices often complicates things, driving complacency and even anxiety—the opposite of what HR leaders intend to do.

We now know that today’s employees are seeking less choice and more guidance on high-quality care – particularly in the New York tri-state area, where the market is complex and there’s no shortage of hospitals and doctors – so much so that it can be overwhelming for employees to choose.

Enter Create®, a health plan that’s built for local usage to help employees better navigate the health care system.

With Create, employees choose local health systems for care instead of traditional broad networks, so they can build stronger relationships with their doctors. With a service team who lives, works, and consumes health care in the same ways as employees, Createprides itself on concierge customer service that guides health plan members through the profusion of health care choices.

As employers seek to improve employee benefits while reducing skyrocketing health care costs, a local health care plan may be the right choice.

Carmilla Tan is Senior Vice President of Analytics at Brighton Health Plan Solutions (BHPS), an innovative health care enablement company with several industry-leading brands. BHPS’s new Create®health care marketplace introduces competition between health systems to finally deliver better health care at lower cost for employers in the New York tri-state area.

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