Recruiting and retention are more challenging – and costly – today than they have been in decades. And the health benefits are a crucial part of the total benefits package that attracts or retains employees. Now, more than ever, you need to maximize the return on your healthcare spend. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Be creative with plan design or funding options
If you’re fully insured, it may be a good time to look at alternative funding options. If self-funding is too radical a leap for you, consider level-funding – a “light” version of self-funding. This structure is a type of self-insurance that includes monthly cash flow stabilization. That means you pay for the health insurance you use (like all self-insurance plans) but you have a cap on costs. Here’s a recent blog on the merits of self-funding.
Look into prescription costs
Pharmacy costs are one of the most fluid segments in the healthcare market. Costs of specialty and brand name drugs can easily have a big financial impact. If you are self-funded, make sure you’re looking at all the opportunities to manage your prescription costs. Your pharmacy benefit manager can be a critical partner. And, like any successful partnership, this one requires trust, transparency and goal alignment. Here are five tips for managing your relationship with your PBM.
Re-examine your dependent coverage strategy
Here’s an often-overlooked avenue for savings – managing the cost of spousal and dependent claims. One of the first things you can do is conduct a dependent audit to ensure you’re only covering qualified dependents. Next, think about adding a surcharge for spouses who have other coverage and choose your company’s coverage instead. And while you’re at it, should you look at tobacco use surcharges? If this interests you, be careful with adding surcharges. They can easily be an irritant for existing employees.
Consider adding a high-deductible plan with HSA
High-deductible plans with HSAs are popular additions, whether you are fully insured or self-insured. As they have become very common, employees are looking for them when choosing an employer, because they’ll be seeking a place to consolidate their HSA accounts.
Maximize perception of value through communications
Benefits are a significant part of the total rewards package that can easily be overlooked if you’re not communicating them effectively. Be sure to use all the tools available to communicate the value of your benefits to both current and potential employees. Consider working with your payroll provider or another vendor to create simple benefits statements. They can be a powerful retention tool. Also, look at how you’re communicating the value of benefits to recruits. A simple benefits summary flyer – or even an estimated value of benefits – can enhance your employment offers.
Call on your broker for help
Your broker should understand the market and be well versed in the options available to maximize the value of your healthcare spend. Don’t hesitate to request a creative brainstorming session. If you’re not happy with your broker or they are not offering you new ideas, I would be happy to talk with you. Call The Miller Group at (816) 333-3000.