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Competition for employees is fierce in today’s market, and employers are leveraging their benefits programs more than ever in their hiring and retention efforts. Unfortunately, the cost of health benefits for employers continues to rise and averages nearly $15,000 per employee each year.

More than half of U.S. workers say that — whether they like their plans or not — employer-sponsored health insurance plays a major role in their decision to stay with a company. Almost as many say that health coverage was a deciding factor or positive influence in choosing their current job in the first place.

Use these tips for providing a well-rounded benefits package while still making strides to improve your overall culture (and your bottom line).

1. Build a Foundation of Competitive Benefits

To attract attention in today’s war for talent, you need a solid base of competitive offerings. The benefits package is often what attracts a potential recruit, so it’s not enough to simply meet the standard minimum for employee health benefits and expect to have an engaged and eager workforce. This doesn’t mean you have to offer a “Cadillac” plan, however. By following simple best practices and looking for creative and inexpensive ways to enhance your benefits package, you can still offer something of value and help keep healthcare costs at bay. 

There are many choices you have when building your benefits package, but it is important to build the plans and overall package with a strategy in mind, rather than by default. Each business is unique and therefore your benefits strategy should be as well, which includes how you fund your plan. There are an increasing number of employers that are moving toward different forms of self-funded health plans such as, level-funded plans, benefits captives and traditional partially self-funded plans that provide varying level of risk and reward.

2. Look Beyond Your Benefits Package

Managing rising costs while also striving to increase employee satisfaction can sometimes seem at odds, however if done correctly, that need not be the case. However, whichever type of plan you choose, you’ll need to go beyond your benefits if you want an engaged and loyal workforce. Studies show that the reasons someone may leave a job often have very little to do with finances or benefits. There are many factors that influence employee morale. Workplace culture, engagement initiatives, work/life balance, a sense of empowerment, professional development, leadership, income and more all play major roles.

Engagement initiatives related to wellness may include developing a stress reduction program or providing free access to counseling or an EAP program. Another major way to improve overall satisfaction is by offering wellness incentives such as an onsite fitness center, walking trails, healthy snacks, gym membership reimbursement, health screenings and more. These efforts not only show that you care about the wellbeing of your employees, but can also go a long way in reducing your overall costs.

3. Communicate Your Benefits

Schedule times throughout the year — not just during open enrollment — to remind employees about their benefits and invite questions. Offer educational sessions that can help employees overcome various risk factors, including smoking cessation and nutrition programs. Also hold sessions to educate employees about the factors that greatly impact their plan costs. One simple example includes informing workers about the exorbitant claim costs of emergency room visits versus a walk-in clinic or scheduled doctor appointment for non-emergency medical needs.

Communicate wellness initiatives and plan information through multiple channels including email, print, group meetings, employee web portals and even social media when appropriate. Also rely on your insurance broker for resources and to speak with employees about their options.

Transparency about the true costs of healthcare and the factors that influence them can go a long way in helping your employees take ownership of their healthcare costs. Not only that, it increases engagement, trust and confidence in their plans, and can help them stay healthier, too.  

There’s so much more to a benefits package than what’s written on a plan. A strategic approach will help you not only attract the best workers, but keep them as loyal, dedicated employees for years to come.

Use our guide below for more tips on how you can lower costs and improve engagement. Then, connect with one of our strategic risk advisors. They’re here to help you lower costs while increasing employee satisfaction through a holistic approach. Contact us today. 

Tips For Controlling Rising Healthcare Costs

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A collection of articles from the McClone team with the helpful knowledge and insights to ensure your organization is well protected.