Our final post in the series about preparing for the 2016 renewal season discusses how to better satisfy both employee needs and your bottom line by designing more customized healthcare options (previous posts looked at compliance and cost).
Healthcare reform is quickly changing the way we engage with our health coverage. On one hand insurance offerings don’t need to be cookie-cutter replicas of each other these days. Its possible to tailor-fit a plan to fit specific employee needs. On the flip side, organizations may develop a comprehensive healthcare benefits package with many “customized perks” that looks great on paper. But at the end of the day those extra benefits are often ignored by employees - ultimately wasting money. However, by combining in-depth employee surveys with fully or partially self-insured plans, employers can find the perfect middle ground of tailoring plans to employee needs while reducing the amount of money spent on healthcare.
The first step is mining employee data. Many factors will dictate specific employee needs and wants when it comes to healthcare, such as geographical location, age, and gender. The best way to find out what services your staff would use most? Just ask. Surveys, focus groups, and current insurance data…these are all ways to determine exactly what employees need more and less of in their insurance plan. Once you know that information, you can customize plans that include the services your employees will definitely use, such as alternative/complimentary care, spousal and dependent support, fertility treatment coverage, or lower out-of-pocket expenses. And while this may take some time on the front end to accomplish, the payoff will be worth it in terms of overall employee satisfaction and engagement.
After collecting all the necessary data, organizations need to figure out the best way to get employees the plan they want without going over budget. Options on the table include fully-funded/traditional insurance, self-funded insurance, and partially self-funded insurance. While the first provides more of that cookie-cutter experience, the latter two provide many more opportunities to develop personalized plans that meet employee needs without breaking the bank. In fact, partially self-insuring (e.g. combining a high deductible health plan with an employee reimbursement account) can save organizations up to 12.5% annually while improving employee benefits. Even better, non-traditional brokers such as Nonstop underwrite the financial risks associated with partially self-funding, making this option even more appealing.
For more information on employee surveys, customizing health care plans, and partially self-funding, please contact us.
The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources believed to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used as or considered a ‘covered opinion’ or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended purpose