min read
May 2, 2024

Low benefits utilization? Here’s what you’re missing

You work hard to build an ecosystem of effective benefits for your team, but odds are they aren’t being utilized. We’re here to help.

One glaring issue persists in today's complex benefits landscape: low utilization.

Despite the abundance of resources and services available, many individuals fail to take advantage of the benefits they have access to. Not only does this deprive individuals of the care they need, but it also poses significant challenges for benefits leaders. So how can you increase utilization? We’ll unpack it here. Spoiler: It’s not by adding more benefits.

Why aren’t people engaging with benefits?

Benefits underutilization is a multifaceted problem with far-reaching consequences. Whether it's mental health services, preventive care, or chronic disease management, the underutilization of healthcare benefits prevents individuals from accessing timely and appropriate care. While awareness is important, this issue also stems from systemic barriers, including complex insurance policies, lack of understanding of available services, and difficulty locating or navigating care options.

A recent article by Fast Company highlights the underutilization of mental health benefits, emphasizing that the problem isn’t a lack of benefits — it’s that benefits are difficult to navigate. How can we expect someone juggling multiple responsibilities at work or home while facing health concerns to be able to find the right care seamlessly? While individuals may have insurance coverage or access to employer-sponsored benefits, the utilization rates remain disproportionately low due to this pain point. As a result, millions are left untreated for conditions that could significantly impact their well-being and productivity.

The solution: care navigation

At its core, care navigation involves guiding individuals through the complexities of the healthcare system, ensuring they receive the care and support they need. This approach goes beyond simply informing individuals of available benefits — it means giving personalized support to those who need it most in a way that works for them.

One of the primary benefits of care navigation is its ability to empower individuals to make informed decisions that best serve their health. Navigators serve as advocates, helping individuals understand their benefits, find appropriate resources, and connect with providers. By demystifying the options available to them, care navigation can reduce the barriers that often deter individuals from seeking care, thus increasing utilization rates ideally improving health outcomes.

Care navigation can also address disparities in access to care by providing tailored support to underserved communities. For example, individuals from low-income backgrounds or non-English speaking populations may face additional challenges in navigating their benefits. Care navigators can bridge these gaps by offering culturally competent guidance and directing them to resources that meet their unique needs.

Plus, care navigation has the potential to yield significant cost savings. By ensuring timely access to preventive care and early intervention services, care navigation can eliminate the need for more costly treatments down the line. And, by maximizing benefits utilization, insurers and employers can optimize their investments in healthcare, leading to improved financial outcomes for organizations.

Support for you and your team every step of the way

The positive impact that care navigation can have on benefits utilization is undeniable. That’s why Big Health offers complimentary care navigation support with our comprehensive mental health solution.  

Our clinician-supervised team of real humans — not bots — will efficiently and effectively guide individuals to appropriate resources based on their specific needs. Available on-demand via chat-based support, our team of navigators will eliminate confusion and help you drive traffic from our programs to your EAP and benefits ecosystem and vice versa.

Request a demo today and take the first step to increase your team’s utilization rate.

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During the COVID-19 public health emergency, Sleepio and Daylight are being made available as treatments for insomnia disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), respectively, without a prescription. Sleepio and Daylight have not been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of insomnia disorder and GAD, respectively.

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