Decision Support Tool Best Practices | June 2, 2016

Andrew Brickman

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30% – 40% of compensation comes in the forms of benefits. Employees need help understanding the value of your benefits. Director of Benefits Administration Andrew Brickman discusses 5 key factors to a successful decision support tool. Well-designed decision support tools combined with well-educated participants is a powerful way to make sure your employees are truly maximizing the value of your benefit packages.

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Video Transcript: 
Hi, I am Andrew Brickman. Welcome to this episode of BeneMINUTE.

Today, I will review best practices of using decision support. As I’ve spoken about before, decision support tools can be powerful instruments helping your employees make wiser benefit plan selections.

There are 5 keys to a successful decision support tool.

  1. The tool must help the participant access their behaviors and tolerance for financial risk. Many consumer driven health programs have large upfront deductibles. Educating employees around the financial impacts these lower premium, higher up-front cost programs have is vitally important.
  2. The tool should be simple and intuitive. The longer and more complicated the tool, the less likely employees will use it.
  3. The tool should be part of all on-line enrollments. Setting it as a default option ensures a majority of employees will view the tool as part of the routine enrollment process and not something additional they need to complete.
  4. Even though we are offering a tool to help employees make decisions, we still need to be prudent with the number of offerings and plan designs we offer. Having too many options can be overwhelming for employees.
  5. Make sure the decision support tool makes plan recommendations beyond just medical. A decision support tool that encompasses all benefit plans is critical to ensuring your employees obtain a well-rounded benefit package that meets all of their unique needs. Decision Support is the next step in the evolution of on-line enrollment.

With 30%-40% of compensation coming in the forms of benefits, having employees understand the value of your programs is more important than ever. Well-designed decision support tools combined with a well-educated participant is a powerful way to make sure your employees are truly maximizing the value of your benefit packages.

For more information on this and other topics, contact me or visit our Knowledge Center at Thank you.

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Andrew Brickman, Account Manager, has responsibility for activities related to Corporate Synergies' new approach to benefits, Synergies360℠. An expert in group employee benefits administration and outsourcing strategies, he identifies opportunities to continuously improve the firm's service offerings.