Target your Employee Communication to be “Street Smart

Every single year your employees get the pleasure to hear about a “Deductible” and “Co-Insurance”.    They hate it.

Seriously.  They hate it.

Even the most respectful employee is victim of rolling their eyes at the word “co-insurance.”

And, if  they  don’t  get it,  they will either not  value  the  plan your  provide or  they will  burden your  HR  department  with questions  and complaints.


Disseminate your information with a filter.

  1. Did the Insurance Company write it?   If so, It’s laden with boring material.
  2. Is there a practical application?  If so, lead with that story.  Then discuss the plan details.
  3. Would a teenager understand it?  If not, simplify it.
  4. Pictures and video testimonials are powerful.



Prepackaged communication doesn’t suffice, but is absolutely necessary.


Prepackaged Information is a great starting point.   It takes minimal effort to make sure it fits your company’s look and feel.

You must tell stories and include practical experiences for every plan!   Adding stories can by tricky.  But, just start simple and borrow one if needed.   We have real-life clients who like sharing their experience about  how our advocacy program saved them  $400  by reviewing where they would receive an MRI.

Short videos have high employee engagement and microlearning has  been shown  to  create  greater long-term  memory retention.    We  are  big  believers  in adding  video  to  your open  enrollment  strategy, and  even simple  ideas  like  registering  for your  health  plan  member  portal are  great  reinforcements  to  better engaged  employees.

Lastly,  some of the vendor’s  information is absolutely critical.  For example the plan’s Summary of Benefits and coverage document  carries a  $1087 civil penalty for each willful non-delivery of the SBC  plus a  $100 per day per employee  excise  tax for each day of non-compliance.


Here are our five simple steps to creating employees that are street-smart about benefits:

  1.  Tell a practical story.  Then explain the plan details.
  2.  Review all communication and have two different age-groups review  it for  understanding.
  3.  Pick a few  items  and let  a  video  do  your  job.    At minimum, use videos  about  your  member  portal or  mobile  app.
  4.  Don’t do  it all at once.  Stage  your  communication prior  to,  during and after  open  enrollment.
  5.  Ask  for  testimonials from your employees  and permission  to  share those  during  enrollment.

Bonus  Tip:   Use either a Benefits Administration Software or HR  Software  to  deliver and track those pesky compliance items  like  the SBCs  for  you.   It  takes minutes to set  up and  alleviates  both manual effort  and your grief  over penalties.


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Bret Brummitt

Bret Brummitt

Senior Consultant

About the author: Having started his career in 1997, Bret has been on the forefront of the transitioning health insurance industry from day 1 of e-Commerce.  Having spent time wearing multiple hats in our organization from operations & claims & sales & marketing & web design & technology implementation & leadership, he brings experience and insight to the challenges facing today’s corporate leaders with a robust outlook that drives him to pursue innovative and strategic solutions.  He also writes articles to help spread those solutions to others and weekly relives his glory days by playing in the Men’s Senior League Baseball for the Dallas Cubs!

About AG Insurance: AG Insurance ( helps employers and their employees with solutions focused on positive organizational impact and improved employee experiences.