That’s Not What We Were Told!

Hermann Ebinghaus

How effective are employee health insurance benefit meetings? Or are they a waste of time?

By Bill Rusteberg

“That’s not what we were told! is a age old complaint we sometimes hear from unhappy employees who use their health insurance and, for the second time, learn what IS covered and what IS NOT. This is despite lengthy mandatory employee meetings to explain the plan, what IS covered and what IS NOT covered.

Employee health insurance meetings are a waste of time. No one wants to go to these boring meetings in the first place, much less in a mood to learn the in’s and out’s of ever so complicated health insurance coverage.

Hermann Ebbinghaus did an interesting memory curve study that shows within 24 hours we will forget 75% and within 30 days we will forget 90%. The 10% that will recall remember only 5%.

So, a group meeting with 100 employees to explain their health insurance coverage will not produce the intended effect of a smarter, brighter, more knowledgeable health care consumer. After 30 days only 10 employees will remember 5% while the rest of the employees will remember nothing.

An employee meeting should probably start off with this:

“Thirty days from now only 10% of you will remember only 5% of what we discuss in the next hour. The rest of you will remember nothing………… But there is hope! When you eventually have the need to use your health insurance, you will learn and remember and will never forget what IS NOT covered.”

After insulting the audience one may expect a heightened interest in listening to the next “bombshell.” With a peaked interest comes improved memory retention. Perhaps 12% will remember 6% after 29 days, a noticeable improvement in memory retention.