Confusion Abound with Health Care Plan Options

 In Human Resources, Outsourcing

Does it seem like yesterday when you were faced with large health care plan premium increases? Are you dreading the difficulties in analyzing your plan options?

Every year, companies go through the same exercise to control their employee health care plan costs. They feel pressure to keep the premium increase to a minimum…but at what cost to the employee?

Employee benefits are not just in place for your existing employees, they are a vital component to an effective HR strategy to attract and retain the best talent in the industry. However, with skyrocketing health care costs, how do you react? Will you reduce the employee benefit offering, increase the out-of-pocket deductible, or will you pass the cost increase on to your employees?

As a business owner, you know all too well that your employees are your company’s most important asset. You know that employees who feel that their employer has their best interest in mind are happy and more engaged with the company. And the more employees are engaged with the company, the more productive they are in their roles…and the more productive your employees are, the more successful your company will be. So knowing all of this, what decisions are you going to make to ensure the most vital component of your employee’s compensation package is safe from drastic change?

To help you make the best benefit health care plan offering decision, here are four important questions to ask yourself:

  1. Are there commissions paid with your chosen health care plan?
  2. Does your health care plan help reduce health care plan related taxes?
  3. Are your costs increasing, deductibles rising or co-pays going up?
  4. Is your health care plan coverage safe from dramatic premium increases?

Health Plan Flexibility and Company Culture

A robust benefit care package is a valuable asset that helps attract and retain high quality employees. When choosing your benefit health care package, make sure the benefit offering provides flexibility to meet your needs and the needs of your employees. Consider the following when deciding on a plan that will have a positive impact on your company culture.

  1. Do you have a choice of multiple health care coverage options that best meets the needs of an individual employee and/or their families/dependents?
  2. What is your flexibility in setting employee contributions for health coverage?
  3. Are you provided non-health care benefits allowing you to tailor benefit offerings to the needs of your employees?
  4. How competitive is your benefit health care package in attracting, retaining and providing on-going business skills training to your employees?

Navigating the Health Benefits Maze

Employee health care benefits can be perplexing and one of the costliest components of an employee. As such, you want to make sure that your benefit health care plan has depth of coverage and breadth of options that your employees are going to appreciate. From the business owner perspective, you want to make sure your health care benefit plan protects the health of your business too. Some questions to ask your HR professional representative are:

  1. Are you being advised to change your benefit design on an annual basis to prevent your cost from increasing substantially? If the answer is “yes”, ask your provider for the detailed changes that are going to affect your coverage (i.e. increased premiums, raised deductibles, reduced benefit coverage, etc.).
  2. How are they (provider) positioned to assume all plan sponsor responsibilities from start to finish?
  3. Do you have a choice of multiple plan level options that not only include group health, dental and vision, but also include other important welfare benefits and health savings options?
  4. Are you in compliance with all applicable laws including, ERISA, ACA, COBRA and HIPPA?
  5. Is your dedicated human resource team completely trained and understands how to keep your company in compliance with federal, state, and local employer business requirements for benefits?

Smooth and Easy Decision

Choosing your health care benefits solution provider does not have to be time consuming. Look for a provider who has demonstrated year over year the ability to minimize the amount of time, money and personnel required for a conscious review and evaluation of the extensive market of insurance carriers. Remember, you have many options to choose from. With the proper due diligence, you can feel confident that you can get great benefits that are cost effective, provide flexibility through plan choice and are a comprehensive solution to support your HR needs.

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