Communicate Value of Company Coverage as ACA Rolls Out

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The Affordable Care Act offers employers a strategic communication opportunity: Highlight the good fortune your employees enjoy in not needing the ACA.

Consider it. Employers have spent a great deal of time over the past several years delivering bad news to employees. In the context of the ACA, employer-sponsored health coverage gains a new, more positive status.

For all its limitations, the fact is that most group coverage greatly exceeds the quality of the minimum essential coverage mandated by the law.

As a citizen, I am cautiously optimistic that the ACA can fulfill its promise and that, as imperfect as it is, it will lead to more people receiving the health coverage they desperately need.

I’m glad I don’t need it. Your employees should be glad they don’t either.

My bet is that this feeling will be widespread as the ACA rumbles toward 2014. Employees will be bombarded with news coverage about the complexity of the exchanges, their uneven rollout, and the limitations of the coverage they offer.

Here’s a window of opportunity for benefits communicators. As employees realize how lucky they are not to have to depend on the exchanges, they’ll be more inclined to partner with their employers in cost containment.

Use the ACA to show employees what having skin in the game really means: Preserving the quality of their coverage.

Employee communications should reinforce employee understanding that the quality of the coverage they enjoy is a work in progress. Help them see that their choices can help preserve that quality.

Don’t lose this opportunity to motivate employees to use their group benefits wisely.

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