Believe it or not, it can save you money. One of the most important concepts in the post-healthcare reform environment will be giving employees choice when it comes to their health benefits selection. This blog post will explain why this is so important. A future blog post will explain the ways this can be accomplished. Your employees have questions right now… have good answers for them.
If you’re an employer that is offering health benefits, you’ll want to understand that it’s now easier and more important than ever to give your employees a healthy selection of health plans at work. This is especially true for businesses that are in the “+50 Full-Time Equivalent Employee” category.
There are a number of different reasons why it’s now important to offer more selection. Here are a few of them:
- “One size fits all” benefits plans are no-longer efficient. In the past, employers would typically offer their employees a single group health insurance plan. Imagine this… buying identical pairs of jeans for each person in the company. All the same size, all the same price. There’s going to be a good chance that pair of jeans you picked won’t fit everyone, and might be too expensive too. The same thing can happen with a health insurance plan. Which leads us into our next important reason it’s important to offer additional choices…
- In most cases you (the employer) are the one choosing the plan for the group. So, not only are the “jeans too expensive and not fitting everyone right,” but YOU are the one who picked them out for your group. By offering a better selection of plans, people begin to make their own decisions. And when people are thinking about what they’re purchasing, they’ll become a better consumer. When people become a better consumer… it saves money all around. There’s a real concept that describes this phenomenon, and it’s called “Consumer Directed Healthcare.”
- Dependent coverage can now be difficult to navigate. Now that everyone needs to carry health insurance, the way the dependents of your employees find their coverage is much more important. This is one of the “biggees” in the post-reform environment. For example, you may be offering the best plan to your employees, but their dependents may not be able to afford it (especially if you’re not making a contribution to health insurance for dependents, and it’s an expensive plan). You “mean well”… but this scenario can be big a problem, especially when it comes to eligibility for subsidies at the new health insurance exchanges. By having a better selection at work, dependents of employees can more easily (and affordably) navigate their options.
- Individual health insurance plans and “defined contribution” health planning are two strategies that are growing in popularity. Why? Because they both allow employers to offer great benefits at maximum flexibility to employees and their dependents. An additional bonus: setting (or defining) a budget for health benefits has never been so easy.
Keep that last bullet-point in mind, because we’re going to get into both of those in more detail in a later blog post. That future blog post will help answer two important questions: “How can I offer more choices and flexible benefits to my employees?” and “How can it save me money?”
The good news is, it’s easier now that ever before. We can’t wait to tell you more. Continue to tune-in to our blog, and we’ll continue to share great information.
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