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 trend aren’t ideal—you either increase employee payroll deductions or raise the co-pays and deductibles on the benefits plan you offer. These choices seem like the lesser of two evils, right?
In addition to hitting your employees’ pockets, 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. Most employers don’t want to cause additional stress or potentially sacrifice employee wellbeing or productivity—so what are the alternatives?
A great way to help ease the burden of rising costs is to offer employees a way to insure any additional financial exposure or risk through Integrated Benefits. These are typically voluntary options that don’t cost anything to the employer, but offer the employee protection against the financial burden of health-related events. A 2014 study 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 large medical bills can be financially devastating. In fact, medical bills are a large contributor to many bankruptcies.
But employers can help without incurring more risks or shouldering more of the burden. Offering additional voluntary options in your benefits package can mitigate the risk for employees who aren’t prepared for a serious medical event. It may also translate into more attractive recruitment and retention results. Recent studies have indicated that the addition of integrated benefits increases workplace satisfaction, provides employees access to important financial protection, and by offering these important programs, employees will gain a better understanding of your benefits package as a whole.
It’s nice to know that when it comes to offering employee benefits, there are win/win scenarios.