Written by: Kristy Kwan, Benefits Administrator
Cost is always a major concern for employers at healthcare renewal time. How can you control costs while keeping up with the industry standards? There is a fine line between remaining competitive and offering too much; on the one hand you may lose employees to a competitor that offers something better, while on the other you risk wasting money on something that the employees take for granted.
What you may not realize is that certain factors, such as the level of participation, and the health of your employees, can greatly impact the ability of your company to acquire competitive rates. There are also additional plans that you can use to enhance your benefits package; they will help your employees utilize their benefits more effectively, while keeping costs manageable for you as the employer. In all aspects, the key is balance. Offer enough to keep benefits attractive, desirable, and competitive, but keep your contribution reasonable so the benefits still carry value.
Participation and Health
Participation is the number one requirement for obtaining health insur2ance; three out of four employees must be enrolled in the plan, and that includes you, too, as the employer. Employees who are enrolled on other group plans through their spouses don’t count against the group, but you’ll still need most of the remaining employees to enroll. Use the tips below to encourage participation:
The health of your employees is not entirely within your control as an employer, but there are ways to encourage better prevention and self-care. Insurance carriers don’t penalize a group for controllable issues such as high blood pressure, endocrine disorders, cholesterol, etc. These are all well documented and monitored health problems that are easily controlled with medication. The health issues that raise a red flag are those that result in week long hospital stays, chronic emergency room visits, or endless diagnostic testing. Usually these incidents are due to a failure of the employee to go in for an annual check-up, or see a doctor at the first sign of a complication. How often have you heard, “oh, I haven’t gone to see the doctor in years. I just don’t have the time.” Use the tips below to keep your group free of large claims (as much as possible):
There are many optional benefits that you, as an employer, can provide at little or no cost to you. If employees are educated properly on these benefits, they can enhance the current offerings and allow for greater savings, both for the employee and the employer.
It is important that the employer provides a minimum level of benefits in order to keep rate advantages, however, above that level, there should also be some cost sharing between the employee and the employer in order for the benefits to have value. Paying for the Cadillac of plans doesn’t help your bottom line if a Honda will do.
If you should have any questions regarding your contribution, or would like to discuss contribution options, please feel free to contact the MMC Benefits Department at (800) 899-6624 or firstname.lastname@example.org.