Providing health benefits is an important tool for building a competitive workforce. For job seekers, the strength of an employer’s benefits package may be nearly as valuable as salary. Therefore, companies, like us, that strive to hire the best, most productive employees must be prepared to pay the price in attractive, competitive health care benefits.
For many employers, however, the price of benefits has prompted the question – how do we manage this?
Let’s start with what we know:
- Health care coverage is the largest employee-related expense for U.S. employers with the average cost of a comprehensive benefits package rapidly approaching 40 percent of overall payroll expenses!
- Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage continue to grow, reaching $15,745 in 2014, with workers paying on average $4,316 toward that cost, according to a survey report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust.
So what is our plan of attack?
To combat these rising costs we have begun using our health benefits programs to promote healthy behaviors and rein in unnecessary costs. We are educating our team on alternative options for health care such as utilizing Patient First or other drop-in medical facilities for non-life threatening illnesses as opposed to going directly to emergency rooms - one tool to help manage costs.
Additionally, we have been planning our wellness strategy for 2017 and it will be robust! We will be focusing on two areas: overall well-being and chronic disease management. Our activities will be designed to help associates understand any health risks they are facing and manage behavior to decrease risk. Company-wide, we will encourage sharing tips and tricks to stay well and even have contests to energize each other to be active. Also, we will offer our team the opportunity to complete a Health Risk Assessment and encourage them to complete an annual physical. These health examinations indicate risks for certain diseases and medical conditions, allowing our team members to take preventative action.
The best thing we can do as members of the A.H. Harris/Harmac/Kenseal benefit plans is hold ourselves accountable and be proactive about our health. Together, we can work hard to contain costs AND gain additional health and wellness benefits in the process. What’s better than that?