When reviewing long- or short-term business strategy, make health care benefits a part of the conversation. The goal is cost containment and increasing employee satisfaction. In doing so, it’s important to educate employees regarding coverage options to maximize usage.
The average cost for employers to provide family healthcare coverage in 2021 was $22,221, and this number is expected to increase annually by about 4 percent. Since healthcare benefits are an expensive line-item, it’s important to have thoughtful, experienced leadership and a trusted broker, to ensure efficient allocation of resources.
Of course, the primary purpose of any corporate strategy is to impact the bottom line, so it’s a delicate balance to create a strategy to provide enhanced healthcare benefits while incorporating alignment with corporate strategy. With a good plan, you can execute a plan that incorporates all of these elements, increasing job satisfaction, productivity, and morale, which all correlate to retention.
Defining objectives and reviewing employee demographics will help inform leadership for decision-making. It’s also important to have a benchmark to compare findings and assess improvements. Finally, create an engagement and measurement plan. Following these steps are the ways in which your organization can implement change, measure outcomes, and make pivots when necessary.
Areas to consider regarding benchmarks in healthcare benefits planning:
- Annual per member cost
- Existence of chronic conditions
- Employee engagement
- In- and out-of-network usage
- Prescription benefits needs and utilization
Your benchmarks may look different, but once these benchmarks are mapped-out, it’s important for leaders to engage with employees and demonstrate advocacy, especially on a topic as important as healthcare.
Set goals that are achievable and attainable to ensure success, and, depending upon your industry, goals will vary, but best practices and industry standards are a great starting place.
Questions to consider:
- Do you want to use this new health benefits strategy to improve retention and/or recruitment?
- Are there current obstacles you would like to help employees overcome?
- Is improving employee health across the board an area of focus?
- Would you like to increase employee coverage and care engagement?
The strategic plan should focus on measurable and attainable factors that align with business goals. It’s imperative to ensure an integrated approach and consider all possibilities that will lead to improved employee health, morale, and company culture, while focussing on and reaching corporate goals.