Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 56: Building Benefits Literacy with Misty Guinn

August 03, 2021 Kyle Roed / Misty Guinn Season 1 Episode 56
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 56: Building Benefits Literacy with Misty Guinn
Show Notes Transcript

Join Kyle as he speaks with MISTY GUINN, Director of Customer Advocacy at Benefitfocus (NASDAQ: BNFT).  

The pandemic has pushed workers to evaluate what their employment will look like down the road. This isn’t just about whether they’ll be working in an office or on their couch. Workers also need to know where they stand with their benefits today and in the future. But they can’t do so without understanding how their benefits work and the value that they’re getting from these benefits.

In other words, it’s time for workers to quickly become “benefits literate.”


Misty Guinn, analyzes health claims data, industry trends, and works closely with suppliers, carriers, and broker consultants to create and manage innovative health plan strategies for associates. She is dedicated to helping others improve their total wellbeing through education, culture, relationships, and a supportive environment that embraces all of the pillars of well-being: physical, mental/emotional, financial, social and purpose. She thrives in consumer-centric design when creating employee benefits, communication strategies and creative well-being engagement programs that foster the foundations of a healthier workforce and community. Ms. Guinn is passionate about the mission of Benefitfocus to “improve lives with benefits” and believes in the power of technology to help people improve health literacy and become better healthcare consumers so they can lead happier and healthier lives.

Web: Benefitfocus.com
Twitter:
@benefitfocus
Instagram:
@benefitfocus
Facebook:
/benefitfocus

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Misty Guinn:

I encourage benefits and HR people to get creative. You know, giving your benefits a brand, a theme, an identity, you can make it fun. I know sometimes that might be an oxymoron. can be fun and exciting.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR podcast, the podcast where we talk to human resources, innovators, about innovation in the world of HR. If you are a people leader, or you're looking for a new way to think about how to help others be successful. This is the podcast for you. Rebel on HR rebels. All right, Rebel HR listeners, welcome to the show. I'm extremely excited for this week's discussion. On the show, we have misty Gwynn. Misty is the director of customer advocacy at benefit focus. And we are very excited to be talking about health trends. She analyzes health claims data industry trends and works closely with suppliers, carriers and broker consultants to create and manage innovative health plans, strategies for associates. Welcome to the show, Misty, thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here. Well, we are excited to have you and I think the topic that your company focuses on is really interesting, and something that's very near and dear to my heart. And that is helping employees become benefits literate. So why don't we start off with Why don't you just kind of give us a an overview of benefit focus and your work with that organization?

Misty Guinn:

Yes, so, benefit focus, we've been a leader in benefits technology space for a little over 20 years now. So we are a public company listed on the NASDAQ. But we've got about a little over 1600 associates with a large chunk of those being dedicated to engineering and our product, and then our customer success service. But we really, truly are unique, I would say in our approach to how we support Benefits Administration, because it is about simplifying the complex benefits are not known for being simple and easy to understand. And so what's a little bit unique about us is that unlike other organizations that serve maybe just a single area of the benefits ecosystem, we serve a lot of different areas. And we've got 25 million consumers on our platform with over 150,000 employers, we also serve over 17,000 brokers, as well as 50, integrated supplier partners and over 140 different health plans. So it's kind of bringing all of those different players on the same field, so that we can best serve and give a well rounded perspective, when really using technology to help people in the moments that matter. Get some peace of mind with their health coverage.

Kyle Roed:

Sure, yeah. simple and understandable is definitely not a buzzword that I would use for most Employee Benefits programs. See, yeah, there's definitely a need that. You know, it's interesting for me, you know, as an HR professional, you know, over a number of years, there's still a significant amount of questions where it's like, Oh, hang on, I'm not sure I need to check I need to find out or I don't remember, you know, what the answer there is, I'm gonna have to check the summary plan description. And then just over the last year, the amount of dramatic change because of the regulatory environment, it's like, oh, now we got to do this thing for Cobra. And we have to do this thing for ffcra. And we got to, we got to make sure that COVID stuff's free. It's just been wild. So I'm sure that you've been very busy over the last 18 months or so. What kinds of trends or changes have you seen in your work in the world of employee benefits?

Misty Guinn:

Yeah, well, it's funny that you mentioned that of just there's so much there's so many hats that we wear, you know, when we're, you know, leading benefits for organizations, because, you know, as soon as we think that we've mastered something like, I tell a lot of people that I practice benefits, because you can't truly give yourself that expert level because as soon as you think you've mastered it, something's gonna change if on the hill, you know, they're gonna throw something like ACA out there, you know, and totally rock your world. And then, of course, you have global pandemic, you know, a lot of civil unrest, things happen, and you're just always having to stay on top of things. And so I think, especially over this past, you know, year and a half, one of the biggest trends, I would say, with benefits and HR in general would be, we had the opportunity to move from being just a transactional participant within our organizations to truly be in that strategic leader at the table, which we should have had a seat there from the beginning. When you look at the company spend on health insurance and benefits, you know, it's usually right behind payroll, and some of that, so I think that's been one of the biggest trends is that we saw from many different surveys, employees weren't really looking towards the government or their medical professionals, or their politicians to know how to navigate this new world or how to protect themselves, they were looking to their employers, to take care of them and to support them. And I think with this multi generational workforce, which is just another fun topic to get

Kyle Roed:

into, that's, we don't have time for that show.

Misty Guinn:

All of these different expectations for people, you know, the trend is we can no longer get by with just offering the basic core benefits of like, Oh, you have a health plan with dental and vision, it really is being built out of what benefits are you offering to help support people in all areas of their life, especially with mental and emotional and financial well, being being challenged so much this past year, those prices quickly followed the physical health crisis. So I think it really again, has moved from what I like to say, from survive, I'm going to be survival that this will be survival of the most strategic right to helping support employees.

Kyle Roed:

I'm really glad you said that, you know, I would, I would agree 100%, that, you know, when I started in this, no human resources role, it was really like, dental, vision, health, cool, if you offer life insurance bonus, you know, and that in the marketplace, that was really, that was pretty competitive. And then just over the last even five to 10 years, it's been things like employee assistance program, you know, legal protection, identity theft, protection, you know, additional coverage for mental health, student loan repayment programs, tuition assistance, you know, all these types of were previously kind of like nice to have ancillary benefits packages are almost expected. And but I think you made a great point that, if you're strategic, you can really make a big impact by offering the right types of things that your employees will actually use. So as you look at that, and as you work with the vast number of organizations that you work with, what successes are you seeing with organizations who take that strategic lens as it relates to their employee benefits package? Well, we

Misty Guinn:

actually did just release what we call our state of Employee Benefits report, where it did look at over the past four years, the trends that we're seeing, and the overall theme that I found from those trends were this equation that I thought we've been wanting to achieve, and the benefits and HR industry for a long time, which is to cultivate and build smarter healthcare consumers, we were able to show from this massive amount of data in our system, that there is the power of choice, which means employers are offering more of those options. So like you mentioned, identity theft, you know, legal, pet insurance is a huge one, family members, you know, but as a benefits director or an HR person, we all know, we can build beautiful and innovative and creative plans that are going to support your employees. But if they're not understanding and opting into them, they're leaving a lot of value on the table and is we're trying to be competitive in the market because I feel strongly we'll get back there we're we're competing for talent to retain and recruit benefits can be even more a deciding factor than even salary at this point of what types of things are you offering? And how are you educating people? And so I think we've seen through our report that more and more employers are offering multiple plan options. So there's the PPO, but they're also offering an hdhp. They're offering the supplemental coverages like accident, critical illness, because we know those can be those financial safety nets, if something does happen. Y'all learned throughout 2020, that we should try to be more prepared for the unexpected. And so I think with that power of choice, one of the exciting trends that we're seeing is that there's that growth and adoption. And so that kind of equals that smarter healthcare consumer that we're seeing, more and more employees opt in to a consumer driven health account plan. So they're enrolling in an hdhp that 90% of the hdhp participants are now enrolling in an HSA. Now, they're not maximizing them yet, but they're at least enrolling enough to cover that deductible. And so that's really some of the exciting things we're seeing is that employers are offering but employers are starting to actually ask questions and opt in to participate because we say we don't want our employees to be on autopilot with their benefits, right. I'm a huge cheerleader for active enroll. Every year, I know it can be scary in HR to do that. I know, well, it doesn't have to be gay, there you go right technology and the right strategy to approach it, and the right partners, because they can leave so much of value on the table and not really opt in to see what's going to be the best fit for them. That's really what we're wanting to mean, we're in that age that, you know, you can plug in a few answers. And you know, things like Stitch Fix, or they're going to send you a personalized wardrobe, or Spotify is telling me my playlist because of my preferences. Like, we're used to being able to customize and personalize due to where we're at in our life, what's going on, and benefits should be the same. And so I think that's really exciting to see some of that starting to catch on fire, not to use the fire drill word, employed in HR, but starting to catch fire there, which is a good thing.

Kyle Roed:

I think that's a really interesting observation. And sounds like that report could be really valuable as we are, you know, kind of entering the renewal cycle for many employers or as an HR professional, who has to oversee and advise their executive team on benefits, you know, having, first of all, just having data, market data that's actionable and actually drives some decision making. That's what your business partners want. They don't want you to come in and say, Well, I feel I have a really strong feeling that we should do this, right. Okay, great pet insurance, right? Like, if I were to go to my CFO and say, Hey, listen, this pet insurance thing, this would be really cool. I think we should do this, I think people will like this. He's going to look at me, like, Why in the world? Would we add administrative complexity for something that sounds so incredibly silly to me, because I don't have a pet. He does have a pet. He has a cute little dog. And he you know, he loves pets. So maybe he would be all in that maybe that's a bad example. But if I could bring a report that says, here's the data on the number of companies who are offering this, and because this number is this low, and this interest level is this high, this could be a competitive edge as we go to recruit and retain. That's a whole different conversation, right? that's a that's a binary yes or no, from that person who is isn't thinking that you're just warm and fuzzy HR person with literal puppy dogs and rainbows in your Yeah,

Misty Guinn:

exactly. And I think it's true, it's, you know, part of that need to be in that strategic leader within an organization is having access to that data at your fingertips. And I know for me, it's a great example of you never want to walk in, it's time for renewals or time for you to go in and present to your your C suite. You never want to walk in with just those feelings for I mean, I'm a huge cheerleader to for employee feedback. And so I believe in collecting that of what your employees want, you need to challenge those assumptions, because y'all know what they say, when you assume that you don't want to walk in there and, and not know, kind of have that temperature check and pulse check on your employees. But I think when you have the data to show that you're being strategic and designing these benefits, and what benefits you should offer a benchmarking is always huge, because in any industry, most people are going to ask, Hey, what are the competitors doing? Yeah, what are they offering what lifestyle benefits. And that's like I mentioned before, these younger generations, I mean, the millennials and Gen Z's, we could talk about them a lot, but the Gen Z years, these young ones, and I have two teens in my house, so I always look to them. But condolence, they've kind of grown up in this age of innovation, they have no loyalty to like, whatever the best platform is going to be next for them to kind of get their information stay informed, that they also have grown up in a during a recession, and also now during a global pandemic, so they tend to look for the longer term investment. So they're coming into the workforce and now into the benefits as they are coming off of those parents plans after 26. And they're looking to see like, what are you investing in me? How are you supporting me more than just me as an employee that me as a whole person, right. And so I think when you can bring that data to show that that adds value to your plan, because you mentioned pet insurance. It can not it doesn't have to be an administrative burden. If you have the right partners and the right platform, and it doesn't cost anything. It's completely employee paid. So many of these voluntary benefits can truly add value without having to kind of damage your bottom line.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. Very well said and I think it shifting from the employer side to the employee side of this equation. You know, ultimately, their goals are probably varied. Different than the organization's goals right there, you know that the reason that they select insurance or the plan that they select, it is really personal. It is it has to do with their lifestyle and the things that they are afraid of, or concerned about. And yeah, the long term focus. And I can't tell you how many painful conversations I've had with somebody who did not take the time to understand their selections during open enrollment, and then had a catastrophic event and did not have the coverage level to protect themselves or their loved ones at a level that they could financially handle. And, you know, to the point that it's like, well, there's nothing we can do, I guess, GoFundMe, you know, like, it's terrible. Like, that is not the solution that I want to help an employee with. But unfortunately, because of the structure and rigidity in some of these know, insurance programs, there isn't much you can do sometimes. And so it really does fall on the employee to make the right decision for themselves. So how do you? How do you approach that, as you're looking at employee education, and really advocating for them to become educated consumers?

Misty Guinn:

I think that's a great point that you make to you that it does somewhat fall on the shoulders of the employer to make the best decision. But with that, I feel that that is a very loud call to action for employers to step up to the plate and provide everything possible to make it easy to understand digestible. And so I think some of the things that I really, I would say, are best practices or are, is really learning the basics of benefit literacy. So a lot of people say what does that mean? And it's like, well, it's almost becoming fluent in a foreign language. You know, I call it benefits to Apple that suit the terminology because it's everything from ppoc to hcahps, hshs, Ltd, like, just learning that basic language, but I encourage benefits and HR people to get creative. You know, giving your benefits a brand, a theme, an identity, you can make it fun. I know sometimes that might be an oxymoron of can be fun and exciting. But it I think being create a meeting people where they're at so certain things with decision support tools, being integrated within your platform. So that I mean, we're used to, as I mentioned, with like, Stitch Fix, or Spotify, Netflix, we're used to being able to answer some questions and get recommendations. And so really tapping in to that AI that lets them know, hey, if you are enrolling in this hdhp, let's make sure that you are covered. If something does happen, here are some recommendations for some financial safety nets with an accident plan or critical illness plan. I think there's so many things that we can do when it comes to quick videos and testimonials. Those really, I think a lot of people now are watching Tic tocs, or vines or YouTube, like their little videos that tell people are getting their information. Sure. I know. It's not necessarily fun to sit down and read an 87 page summary plan description, no one, not even benefits directors enjoy that if they tell you they do they're lying. No one wants to sit down and read that. But being able to watch a two minute video on how hospital indemnity helped give someone a financial safety net because she was going to be having a child the next year and it covered her deductible. And she was golden the rest of the year on her coverage. That speaks to people because they can relate to that. And so I feel there are some great communication techniques. One of the biggest ones and I know open enrollment is something within benefits in HR. It's like sometimes that dark cloud is coming up open. And we know that it's going to be long days and lots of questions. But I encourage people to take a year round approach of if we are engaging people within their benefits throughout the year. That's when it's going to be like they're not drinking from a fire hydrant for two weeks out of the year. They're able to engage with their benefits, find out about them gamify them, you know, do scavenger hunts with them give points as part of your wellness program. So many creative things that you can do to let people get more comfortable with their benefits and learn about them. So make sure that some of the tips I would offer

Kyle Roed:

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Misty Guinn:

That is actually my favorite technique, I'm very progressive of you to bring that up as well. So because a lot of people just look at that annual always throw everything out there. That's the only time we're going to encourage people to log in. And so you do have those benefits, like you mentioned, like the core ones, a medical dental vision, those are kind of locked into your annual decision point, unless you have like a qualifying life event. There's a couple others in that voluntary world such as your income protection plans, like your accident, critical illness, and hospital indemnity are tied to an annual, but most of the others like our identity theft, and our pet insurances. Those you could be launching throughout the year, you know, student loan repayments, short term loans, financial wellness programs, I encourage people as part of that calendar, we would have quarterly themes. And so we would launch and really promote those year round benefits outside of OEE. So that we were just saying, Okay, oh, we hear that two to three things you need to do. Like, no one wants to sit down and make 22 decisions about their next year, at one time. And I think we've there's like the fun little stat out there that people spend more time researching what TV to purchase than they do their own benefit plans each year. And yeah, I think we need to stop overwhelming people and just say, hey, let's just focus on the core benefits this year. And then throughout the year find, like I love to tie into Awareness Month, you know, if I know that there's a certain month happening, like health literacy or financial wellness month in, that's when I'm going to promote some of those plans, like during the holidays. That's when I promoted identity theft because we were all shopping online. Or pet insurance because people might be putting some of those puppies and kittens under the Christmas tree. Like, I think finding those times and those moments throughout the year, again, breaks it down for people so that they're not in that analysis paralysis of there's too many decisions to be made here. So I'm just gonna stay on autopilot because that's when they just run away screaming and they just keep everything the same. I don't care what I'm paying, I don't care if something happens. I just can't make this decision right now. So I want to make it easy for them. Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, that's really interesting. I think you know, that approach it, you know, it certainly may have a little bit more complexity, but if your primary goal or your you're trying to incentivize people to actually make informed decisions, yeah, throwing too many decisions at somebody at one time, it's, you know, they're gonna make a mistake on one of them or not think through it as fully as you would like. So yeah, that's really interesting. I haven't heard that. The tactic of tying it to like the awareness month. You know, so like on national donut day, you know, hey, here's your wellness program, you know, stuff like that. That's

Misty Guinn:

exactly be like don't forget about our diabetes program. Yeah, we offer help support you.

Kyle Roed:

There's a date for everything. So yeah, we could totally do that. Yeah, definitely. Awesome. What that's really interesting. So, you know, one of the other areas that I was really interesting to dive in a little bit with you was, was kind of the emerging technologies in this space. And I think that, you know, we certainly, we, I've done the whole paper open enrollment before, let me tell you, if you're still doing that, right now, there are so many tools out there that will prevent you from having to do that. Yeah, invest the money, you will save a lot of heartburn. But I've done that, and then, you know, we've done the whole digital thing, as far as you know, our HR is, but what are you seeing as it relates to kind of the technological trends and some of the, you know, some of the innovations that are emerging in that space?

Misty Guinn:

Um, well, goodness, as you know, there's so many coming out all the time. And I feel that it just magnify some of the areas this past year of that was a good thing. A silver lining coming out of 2020 was the really big adoption in telehealth and telemedicine. Sure, and it's something that we've been trying to promote and get people to opt in. Because it's like, when you do that first visit from the comfort of your home or your couch, and you're like, wow, that was quick. They call the into my pharmacy, I didn't have to leave my home. And it saved one of the data points to look at is like er utilization. And so many people were using the ER paying a high copay, employers were being forced with like high coinsurance rates, like, because they didn't need to go to the ER. And so I think the telemedicine has really opened the door for some of the technologies that I'm excited to see around, you know, tell us psychiatry, because many times people were not getting the care they needed because they didn't need to leave, or they couldn't leave work. They didn't know where to go, there was a stigma attached to it. And so to see that someone can download an app that their employer is now offering them to be able to get full access, you know, to video chats with counselors, I think the mobile application that carriers are now starting to catch up with an offer, that one of the biggest technologies that and solutions, I think is fantastic is around like musculoskeletal issues. And there's partners out there such as hinge health, which we just launched for our associates this past year, because, as we all know, maybe an hour ergonomics of a makeshift home office, we might be suffering from some back and neck issues. But also, with deferred care catching up with us. I think they offer a virtual exercise therapy solution where like they send you the iPad, and there's some little sensors that you wear, and you do these exercises through this mobile app. And they guarantee an ROI, you know, to help prevent unneeded surgeries. And so those technologies where we're meeting people, where they're at in their homes in the palm of their hand, I think those are where it's going to continue to go. And then it's one of the things that benefit focus that I love is you know, with our mobile application, is trying to now partner to where like if I walk into the pharmacy, it reminds me of the deals that I can get if I have a generic fill versus a specialty or, you know, letting me know about special coupons that might be there for the prescription, I'm getting filled, or our friend Alexa, reminding us, you know how much is left on our deductible. If we're getting ready to have a telehealth visit some of just that integrations and partnering where technologies are really starting to talk to each other can only help improve the consumerism that we're trying to do and help here.

Kyle Roed:

That's really interesting. You know, and I think, yeah, the telehealth thing, you know, that's one of the things we offer it for free. You know, it's no copay, like it saves us money. You know, the numbers are there. Was it hinge health is that that was the name of that name. Yeah. But it's funny. I'm laughing because it's like, you mean sitting on a piece of lawn furniture on my back porch for six months during COVID lockdown was not the best thing for my lower back. Okay. Yeah, there's probably some legitimacy there. Yeah. Definitely. So really interested. So do you foresee this going towards where kind of the world of finances going where you know that that world is kind of becoming the world of FinTech? Are we going to have like bentek in the in the coming years? Is that the future here?

Misty Guinn:

Yes. I believe wholeheartedly in that That's something to you and just loving to work, you know, in the industry and see that technology, you know, because as I mentioned, there's still like some mystery within benefits. And I feel like people always are looking at me when I say I'm in the benefits, you know, technology world or even benefit industry. And it's like, I'm supposed to have a big secret. Like there's really not any secrets like it's been overcomplicated for so long. And you know, one of the things I always joke about with my colleagues at benefitfocus is getting to peek behind like the wizards curtain and see, hey, what's what's the secret? Why is this hearing so difficult? It doesn't have to be. It's great to see that that curtain is being pulled aside. And the transparency as that's another big buzzword you're hearing even from, you know, the hill and like what we're going to require of, you know, health plan carriers and medical providers, like that type of data and information should be driving us to make the best decisions possible. No one should be going into this blind. See us, I think, we'll start to see more and more. What's behind that wizards curtain through technology.

Kyle Roed:

Like, that's such a critical point. It's funny, because it is, it's kind of the same in the world of an HR practitioner, it's like people assume that there's this nefarious conspiracy theory behind every change, even though Yeah, all you're trying to do is make the best decision with the information you got, you know, like, I wish I I wish I had the foresight, to, you know, execute on a change and achieve a goal three years from now, like, I don't know, what's gonna happen tomorrow, right? Like, we're just, we're doing our best with what we got. And but I do think, you know, to your point, you know, about kind of peeling back the curtain is what, you know, health insurance, you know, the administration of it, the billing, the charging, all that stuff, is so incredibly inefficient. And without that level of transparency and knowledge and you know, information up front, before someone actually needs care or needs to claim something, you know, there's just a really high likelihood, you're going to end up spending more than you need to, or go to a place that isn't rated as highly as you thought, or, you know, there's there's just a ton of available information. I agree, 100%, I think this is one of those. This is one of those areas, because of that inefficiency. It's ripe for change. And eventually, whether it's regulatory, or it's consumer driven requirement, you know, people are going to expect more. I mean, if I can get on my phone, and go, research what stock I want to buy, and then buy it without any Commission's and have transparency on the bid ask and, you know, do that in about five minutes to set up an account and five seconds to hit by, you know, the people are going to expect the same thing as it relates to healthcare, one of

Misty Guinn:

the base should be able to do that, when you're being recommended to get an MRI, you should be able to look up who's the best providers, what the cost is going to be up front, you know, do they take your insurance? You know, will it apply to your deductible? All of that should be at your fingertips? Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah. And ultimately, I think that, you know, from my standpoint of it sitting in my chair, I'm like, it makes my job a whole lot easier to, because now all I have to do is tell them here, go here, this will give you the answer, I don't have to try to explain the SPD to you or how preventative care works. All you have to do is look here, there's your deductible, there's where you go, and here's all your options and pick the one you want to go to, you want to go to the doctor you like, cool, it's gonna cost you a little bit more, that's your choice, right? Go into Walmart, or target, you know, you go wherever you want, you just might pay a little bit more depending on where you go.

Misty Guinn:

Exactly, exactly. Well, and you know, benefits there. I'm a huge sports analogy person to you. So I say like, it's not a spectator sport. And you know, we need our employees to partner with us. And if we need that, like people say, what's the big deal with health care consumers? Why is that important to us? And it's like, well, in order for us to be successful, and actually mitigating these health care costs, and helping to support our employees, total well being meet those beautiful goals and okrs and objectives that we have, we have to partner with our employees, we need them to, you know, jump in and opt in and participate with us. It's no longer just a sit and get culture.

Kyle Roed:

You know, yeah, keeping with the sports analogies, you know, there are also a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks that have an opinion on how something should have gone, you know, but weren't out there on the field, you know, calling the plays. Exactly. Exactly. So what are you seeing as far as hurdles that are still ahead for businesses and workers.

Misty Guinn:

Think that you just continuing to, as you mentioned earlier, people that have I would say employers to specify that have that fear of change, and it being a lot of work up front. So like moving from paper, like paper enrollment is, you know, I just feel for people still there, I've been there. But just to see, a lot of people are afraid of that change, because they don't know what's going to be outside of their control or in their control. And I just encourage people to take advantage of the technology that's there. It's almost like when you get that update on your phone, it takes you a little while to learn all the new things, and then you realize how did I live without this before. So I think some of those challenges is going ahead and moving forward to make that change for efficiency, and connection and communication. And then from the employee side, it's that opting in, they need that little nudge. So I just encouraged like to move away from the passive enrollment, I feel like that's a hurdle still out there. And you can work very hard on a benefit design and plan, but you are not letting you're not showcasing all of the hard work if you're staying on a passive enrollment. And so I think, making sure you have the right partners and platform and, you know, solutions out there to make it as easy as possible. But I think it's still is that partnership with the healthcare system, we still want to encourage people to gain confidence in their benefits knowledge, like I might know how to look something up on my phone, but I just encourage people to have a voice, you can ask questions, and please do no one is expecting you to be benefits expert. And no one should expect, you know, even their medical provider to have all the answers if you don't agree with a certain procedure, ask the question, get a second opinion. So I just that's just one of the hurdles, I hear that people just continue to kind of let things go as they've been with status quo and not really look to improve with that progression.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, you know, I would say, that's probably one of our biggest struggles at all the organizations I've worked at, it's been the, the mindset of individuals to think, you know, I just want to be able to go wherever I want to go and hand this card to somebody and get whatever care I need. And I can't tell you how many times I've heard, you know, I'm not an insurance expert. I don't know how this works, you know, I'm just here to do my job. I don't want to learn how to do this too. And but my retort is usually, well, I think your health is pretty darn important. You might want to be educated on what you're doing here. And, you know, step back and look at Okay, how much am I spending on premiums every year? You know, that's a really easy analysis to do, how much am I spending on health care costs every year? Is this even the right plan for me financially, you know, just even stepping back and looking at this on a holistic level, can just make a huge difference and ultimately, keep an employee happier, healthier, and a better financial situation, that's really the goal here, but there is some person. So personal accountability here a little bit,

Misty Guinn:

you definitely need to be treated as you would treat any other type of consumer product. You know, I think that's the whole word of consumerism. But it's, you know, wanting people to opt in and use it, it's not something that should just be a card that you pull out and not question. So I think being a true consumer will really help. Yeah,

Kyle Roed:

yeah. And I think, you know, to the individuals that, you know, that are listening to this, mostly HR practitioners, I know, they probably have heard this before. But I think the other thing I tell an employee is listen, changes comment, you know, whether you like it or not, and, and I can almost guarantee that every single one of your employees at some point is going to have a health issue. I mean, that is 100% the way it's going to work. So get educated now, before you actually have a health issue. So you know, how to handle that health issue, right? No different than if you're trying to retire and you're planning for retirement, you also need to think a little bit more broadly and plan for a health issue, as well. Right? And become educated. So that that is the truth of our world that we live in. So well. Absolutely wonderful conversation, some really great insights here. And I think some good action items for individuals who are thinking about how to leverage, you know, an employee education program into their into their benefits solution. So I want to shift gears and go into the rebel HR flash round. So you ready? I'm ready. All right, here we go. Question number one, what is your favorite people book?

Misty Guinn:

Okay, so this one might be a little bit strange, but because I'm a huge self help leadership book junkie of all the way but I will say people buck timely. What we've talked about today is What broke the American healthcare system and how to fix it. And I just say that is that it helped me see how to interact with people in healthcare and how to ask those questions and challenge. The assumptions that we all make with that lack of transparency. And it's in it's a great book, it sounds doesn't sound maybe like, Oh, this will be a thrilling read to take with me. But it's just done in such a great story that I felt like gave me so much confidence when I was talking with people in the healthcare system. So I would recommend it.

Kyle Roed:

Alright, perfect. Yeah, that's, you know, I that is not beach reading, for me, generally, you know, benefits. But if there's a narrative, and I can follow it, you know, I'm good with that. So I'll check that one. Right. Yeah. So yeah. Okay. Thank you very much for that tip. Question number two, Who should we be listening to? Oh, gosh,

Misty Guinn:

there's so many. Well, you should be listening to rebel HR, of course. But I would say, I get to carry along on the people side of it. One of my favorite people to listen to is actually Mel Robbins center. She has a lot of books out there. But I just feel an HR and benefits, too. We've been challenged so much this year, and just that focus on resiliency and change and owning what is inside your control and kind of moving forward. I just saw that no, Robbins offers some great advice and tips on how to do that.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Love that. All right. Question number three, how can our listeners connect with you?

Misty Guinn:

I would love for them to connect you on LinkedIn, Twitter, you can go to benefit focus calm I am can be found there as well as I have some great blog posts that you can tap into the report that we mentioned earlier, is free to download for anyone if you want some great benchmarking analysis going into your planning. Yeah. So the sequin, look me up Connect. I would love to connect with everyone and continue the conversations.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. We'll have all that information in the show notes. And we will also have a link to the research so that you can have some of that data when you go into advocate for pet insurance with your CFO. So misty, what a wonderful conversation and wonderful work certainly working towards something that that I'm very passionate about, and appreciate the help that you're doing in the world. So thank you very much. Thank you keep up the great work. Thanks. All right, that does it for the rebel HR podcast. big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. If you views and opinions expressed by redl Hr podcast Are those the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast. Maybe