Treat your Body Like a Maserati

small dulceI train every new hire at New Benefits and recently had the opportunity to work with a young millennial.  I quickly realized the training curriculum I’ve used in the past was going to be meaningless to this new employee as he knew nothing about the healthcare industry. Or did he?

I braced myself for what I was certain would be a long training session. As we began discussions about healthcare benefits, he suddenly said, “So, this is like my car insurance.”  Ummmm…YES!!!!

This young man understands his auto insurance deductible and the importance of car maintenance. He also knows he doesn’t want to get a traffic ticket and have it go on his record (which would increase his premiums) and that he shouldn’t file door dings with his insurance carrier (that would be a really expensive door ding). When he does need to tap into his insurance policy, he realizes how important it is to shop around for the best price to prevent out-of-pocket expenses.  Lastly, he understands why he’s considered a bigger risk and his premiums are higher.

Insert my “AHA!” moment here.  As I discussed benefits with this new hire, I realized consumers aren’t as powerless or as unfamiliar as they think when it comes to the healthcare system.  They just rarely apply the logic they’ve used on cars to themselves.  But when you think about it, we’re just another kind of machine.

Slight cough?  Don’t run to the doctor, which is the equivalent of filing a claim for a door ding.  Try over-the-counter remedies.  Or better yet, use a telehealth service with 24/7 access to a board-certified physician who can diagnose and prescribe any necessary medications at no cost.  As much as you like your insurance company and they like you, they don’t want to hear from you if at all possible. Plus, you won’t have to miss work, and your boss will love you even more!

A vehicle is a big investment, and we’ve been conditioned to take care of our valuable possessions. (For example, we buy the slimmest smartphones only to cover them with a clunky protective case. Hello?)  You rotate tires and perform the scheduled maintenance on a car because you want to keep it running smoothly.  So, shouldn’t we care for and invest in our bodies just as purposefully?  It’s incredibly important to stay healthy, both in mind and body.  In addition to telehealth, consumers can also control their healthcare dollars by using wellness portals to improve overall wellbeing and health advocacy to fully understand their healthcare options.

You’re not just waiting for the opportunity to use your car insurance.  It’s there when you really need it.  The increase in high-deductible plans is making consumers think twice about how and when they’ll use their health insurance benefits.  Consumers are educating themselves to make smarter healthcare purchasing decisions, and discount benefits help pay for those human “oil changes” and “tire rotations” that keep you running like new.

So it turns out the 19-year-old trainee knew more about healthcare than either of us thought.  In its most basic form, healthcare is his responsibility, too.

– Dulce Bozeman, EVP

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