Rethinking Your Company’s Health Care Benefits

Tuesday August 6th, 2019

Open enrollment is coming up quickly for many employers. This time of year can bring a lot of stress and hassle for those involved in the process. Insurance brokers and benefit administrators have to spend time entering new rates, premiums, plan options and other details, which will then be shared with all eligible employees. Those employees must decide which benefits to enroll in during the open enrollment process.

Before open enrollment begins for your company, you may want to reconsider what benefits you’re offering to maximize participation and give your employees what they really want. For example, if you only offer a health plan with high premiums and a low deductible, some of your younger, healthier employees may feel frustrated that they’re stuck paying for coverage they don’t necessarily need or use. If your business doesn’t provide an account for employees to set aside funds and pay for out-of-pocket health expenses such as copayments, deductible amounts and other eligible items, those on the company plan may feel worried about the financial implications of paying for their health care.

More employers are turning to a consumer-driven health care option, which allows enrollees to take control over their health care expenses. For example, offering a qualifying high-deductible health plan with the option to set up a health savings account (HSA) is appealing to those who want to save for their future costs and have pre-tax funds set aside for their health expenses. Flexible spending accounts are versatile because two types of these accounts exist. Parents can set aside funds to pay for child care in a dependent care flexible spending account, while a health flexible spending account allows participants to designate pre-tax funds to pay for eligible health expenses.

Another option your company may not have considered is a health reimbursement arrangement. HRAs are also part of the trend toward greater consumer responsibility. This employer-funded medical reimbursement plan can add a lot of value to your benefit offering, enticing new employees to become part of your team.

Additional benefit options that don’t pertain to health care but you may want to consider offering to employees include commuter benefits, tuition reimbursement or assistance, and lifestyle spending accounts.

With so many different benefit options available to employers, you may want to rethink what you’re offering to your employees this open enrollment season.