Each year in the benefits industry we see the same routine repeated over and over again. Healthcare costs continue to rise and the most obvious choices you have to combat that tide aren’t ideal—you either increase employee payroll deductions or raise co-pays and deductibles on the benefit plan you offer. These choices seem like the lesser of two evils, right?
In addition to hitting your employees in the wallet, the choice to increase deductions or co-pays also has an impact on your company’s key performance metrics. The 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report found that personal financial issues are the number one non-work related issue distracting employees while on the clock. You don’t want to add to that burden and potentially sacrifice employee wellbeing or productivity—so what else might you consider?
A great way to help ease the burden of rising costs is to offer your employees a way to insure the additional risk through Integrated Benefits. These are typically completely voluntary options that don’t cost anything to the employer, but offer the employee protection against the financial burden of health related events in their lives. A study recently released by the Corporation for Enterprise Development states that 44% of Americans are living with less than $5,887 in savings for a family of four. These individuals are living paycheck to paycheck and will never be able to foot the bill for a large medical expense. The hard truth is that just one serious medical event could potentially push these individuals into bankruptcy.
Here’s where you can help. By offering additional voluntary options in your benefits package you will mitigate the risk for employees who aren’t prepared for a serious medical event. This effort will also translate into your recruitment and retention efforts. Recent studies have indicated that the addition of Integrated Benefits will increase workplace satisfaction, afford your employees access to important financial protections, and result in a better overall understanding of the benefits plan that you offer. I call that a win-win!