You know the Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA) is good for your business from a budget standpoint and a flexibility perspective. You also anticipate that your employees will likely love it just as much as your bottom line does. But you have to roll it out first and offer an employee explanation about your ICHRA plan in a way that inspires them to opt into your platform. Today, we’ll highlight just what you need to include in your explanation and how to go about transitioning everyone over to your new ICHRA.
1. Offer Written Employee Explanations of Everything
Before formally rolling out your company ICHRA, it’s best to put everything in writing. Having written resources available, either in-person or digitally, is the best way to address basic information, definitions, and parameters of your plan. These written resources can be useful ongoing as new employees join your company, as well.
Most individuals don’t know all the ins and outs of an ICHRA. And some maybe have never heard of it before now. Part of your written resources library should be an employee explanation of terms and definitions. Lay a foundation of transparency in writing, so everyone understands the basics before moving forward with the next steps.
Employee Explanations of How They Can Benefit
You understand the company-facing benefits of an ICHRA. But it’s also a good idea to highlight how your employees will benefit in language that is relevant at the individual level. Include details about how those who maybe didn’t qualify for traditional group plan coverage are now eligible for reimbursements. Point out the cost savings associated with only paying for healthcare services they need. And explain the tax-free benefits associated with reimbursements so that employees can see the increased value of the ICHRA.
Detailed Outlines of the Reimbursement Model
Consider outlining every step of your ICHRA reimbursement model in writing and providing visuals to support the flow. Demonstrate how an employee might go about making a doctor appointment through submitting the reimbursement. Having documented resources about the process will be helpful as employees may forget if they don’t often have expenses to submit.
2. Have Meetings to Discuss FAQs
Once you introduce your teams to the ICHRA, consider having support meetings to gauge the general understanding and support of the plan. Meetings are great places to discuss common questions, potential challenges, and solutions, as well.
In-Person or Virtual Conversations
Whether you’re working entirely in a remote environment or returning to the office as a team, schedule meetings a week or two after you’ve rolled out the written materials. Have a department call online or bring the entire staff into a conference room meeting. Getting everyone in the same room will help you provide answers and gauge overall sentiments for the ICHRA.
Identify Areas of Confusion to Provide Clarity
Instead of addressing all questions in a one-on-one setting, the meeting or group environment provides a great space for example setting. Employee situations and questions can become teaching tools for the group. And meetings allow for reinforcement of the overall employee explanation basics.
Providing Helpful Resources
Don’t just assume your employees will know what to do about finding their own health insurance. Put forth tools and resources that will help guide them with the exchanges or in the private sector. Inform them about their potential eligibility and offer free resources, like W3ll, to help individuals navigate the ACA, compare plans, and enroll on time to take advantage of your company ICHRA. Don’t wipe your hands once your ICHRA is official. Ensure higher adoption rates by giving your teams all the tools they need to make the best health insurance decisions.
3. Have a Follow-up Strategy to Assist
Don’t forget to follow up with your teams after you have officially launched your company ICHRA. Send those all-staff reminder emails and keep in touch with anyone not yet enrolled. Your ICHRA will only be beneficial to them if you’re able to guide them through to enrollment and engagement. Following up will also allow you to uncover any challenges or concerns your employees might have that prevent them from moving forward in the process with the next steps.
Getting an ACA Plan on Time
Consider implementing a series of reminders to keep employees on track for meeting timeline requirements. Send reminder emails to the individuals directly. Keep management teams in the loop to address challenges departmentally, if necessary. Anyone who misses the deadline to secure an individual health insurance plan won’t be able to participate in your reimbursement program.
Helping with Premium Tax Credit Eligibility
You might have employees who have only known traditional group health plans. The idea of shopping for an Obamacare plan might be completely foreign territory for them. It’s critical to offer as much information as you can about the existence and availability of the premium tax credits. These subsidies are designed to take the sting out of monthly premiums, which is both advantageous for them and your bottom line.
Making Sure They Know How to Get Reimbursed
Even if you roll out your ICHRA plan successfully, with all the best practices for employee explanations, your job is still not done. Managing the ICHRA ongoing means having all of those definitions, resources, and process details available all the time. Employees may not have an expense to submit until six months from now, at which point, they’ll likely need fresh guidance again. And these resources are necessary for any new hires or employee onboarding.
Transitioning your employees away from last year’s group health insurance plan to this year’s ICHRA model might seem like a significantly tall order at first. But staying organized and having a strategy for employee explanations will help streamline your launch and enrollment efforts. And if you need a third-party administrator for your ICHRA or just a little help getting everyone on board, let the professionals at W3ll help! We specialize in supporting companies like yours with ICHRA plans, and we know how to make sure everyone knows how to participate.