American businesses are noticing a frightening trend: healthcare costs are on the rise and there are no signs that the costs are slowing down. A new report from HCCI shows that healthcare spending per person has grown more than 4% in the past few years, with more individuals receiving support for multiple chronic conditions than ever before. This represents a 10-year rise of nearly 18% for individual healthcare services, which explains why healthcare utilization has stayed mostly flat while costs continue to go up. There are a number of factors that make up these figures, but the costs associated with longer lifespans and the intensity of medical services are key considerations for the future.(more…)
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Rising healthcare costs are a hot topic today and a growing concern for employers. One recent report Americans’ Challenges with Health Care Costs found that 34% of insured adults say that it is difficult for them to pay their premiums and deductibles. Furthermore, 50% of adults in the United States say the either they or a family member has skipped or delayed some type of healthcare because of the treatment cost. As a result, one in eight says that their condition worsened due to a lack of treatment.(more…)
Does it feel as though your business leadership and employees are at cross-purposes when it comes to healthcare? Staff members are always on the lookout for better benefits during open enrollment, while the goal of the business is to provide great benefits at a reasonable cost. Fortunately, these don’t have to be competing priorities when you approach reducing healthcare costs as a shared responsibility. While there are some activities that are best suited to your human resources department and leadership, getting everyone on board with the value of reduced healthcare costs is a great step in the right direction.(more…)
Healthcare costs are continuing to rise and with it, the costs of employee benefits. While some increase in healthcare costs is inevitable, there are some strategies that HR departments can employ that will help offset some costs. This includes preventative wellness measures and changes in benefits structure that will help keep your overall costs low.
Develop an organizational culture that has a strong focus on health and wellness.
Health and wellness programs are great for preventative care and can help with early detection of chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension. They also help to improve the overall health of the employees which decreases their time in the doctor’s office.
Offer HMO health plan options.
Insurance carriers are able to negotiate providers’ rates differently for an HMO than for other types of healthcare plans. This is a great advantage because it allows the HMO to charge lower premiums and have lower deductibles. Quality of care is another boon for HMO plans. Better care means healthier employees.
Offer health plans that are consumer-directed.
Consumer-directed health plans (CDHP) combine several strategies for cost saving which can translate to lower healthcare costs. While they tend to have higher deductibles, they also offer health spending accounts (HSAs), flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), medical savings accounts (MSAs), and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) which puts the responsibility and accountability for healthcare spending back on the employee. These programs all have the added bonus of tax benefits.
Manage spousal health care coverage by increasing cost-sharing or implementing limits.
Spousal carve-outs and surcharges are becoming an increasingly viable way for employees’ families to be covered while reducing healthcare costs. Where some employers exclude dependents and spouses completely from coverage eligibility, spousal carve-outs and surcharges are a less aggressive option. It provides the potential for employees’ families to receive benefits, but with eligibility requirements and a surcharge for each family enrollee.
The one danger with these plans is that it is easy to slip over the boundary and violate the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is important that HR departments carefully review the terms and ensure that they line up with all federal and state requirements.
Offer rewards or incentives for health and wellness activities.
Rewarding employees for certain health and wellness activities has long been a very effective tool for encouraging participation – thus encouraging them to take a more proactive and active approach to manage their health. Discounts on gym memberships, rewards for getting regular check-ups, and incentives for engaging in wellness activities such as lectures and classes can encourage employees to get healthier.
Some employers even extend the rewards and incentives to the employees’ families as well. Healthy employees mean lower healthcare costs. It’s just that simple.
To discover how you can lower healthcare costs within your organization, talk to the experts at Innovative Broker Services. Call 866-427-2765 today to schedule an appointment, then visit our website and download our FREE checklist, 8 Easy Steps to Your Best Open Enrollment Ever. Healthcare costs may be rising, but they can be managed. Let us help.
Is your HR department still working through paper forms and attempting to capture information in spreadsheets? This not only reduces the overall efficiency of the department, but it can also create difficulties if you want to analyze the information about your business and your staff members. While HR professionals have been utilizing digital systems to improve departmental operations for years in small ways, these four reasons should convince you that it’s finally time to take the plunge to a completely paperless human resources department. From the security of your staff’s information to ensuring that you remain compliant with government regulations, there are many compelling arguments to move in this direction.(more…)
Thanks to rapid advancements in technology and the need for enhanced security, a growing number of organizations are undergoing digital transformation. Interestingly, especially for a typically administration-heavy business unit like HR, paperless operations offer significant benefits.(more…)
There was a time in the last decade when paperless offices were considered the wave of the future — bringing to mind the simplicity of having every document available whenever and wherever possible. While that vision is taking longer for most companies to implement than expected, human resources agencies have adopted this philosophy more quickly than other departments. Not only does going to a paperless HR department save effort when you’re looking for crucial details, but it also helps ensure that your business stays within government compliance on a variety of levels. See how moving to a more digital workflow for your human resources team can reduce the overall risk to your business and improve efficiency at the same time.(more…)
Starting the open enrollment season may feel like the kickoff of The Big Game to HR professionals, who gear up for months to get through this time of year. Employees are often confused about their options, leaving human resources staff members to answer the same question dozens — if not hundreds — of times. Even with exceptional communication, it’s unusual to have everyone complete their enrollment elections on time. It’s much more likely that staff members will still be chasing down answers several weeks after the enrollment period has officially closed. With all this stress and confusion, what can a great employee benefits broker do to help your company work through the challenges?(more…)
Employee benefits and insurance are one of the top business expenses. It makes up around 30% of your compensation costs, just behind payroll which is around 60%. These programs have the potential to directly affect your organization. Benefits are often integral in employee retention, the quality of talent you attract, employee turnover, productivity, and more. With so much riding on these decisions, you don’t want to leave it to change. An employee benefits broker can help select the best programs for your business and help with sign up and information dissemination. However, selecting a benefits broker should not be taken lightly. Before you hire your next broker, ask these questions.(more…)
Your employee benefits broker should be an excellent resource for your business. When they always have the right resources available, they can help smooth the process throughout the year. Your employee benefits broker spends all their time researching various benefit options and how they impact businesses, so they are likely to have the tools and tips available that will answer any questions you receive from your employees. Whether you need problem resolution or help with claims and benefits analysis, here are the services that your benefits broker should provide for your business.(more…)