Whether your employee insurance data hits your desk in a 9-to-5 package or invades your laptop in data packets, those figures, check-offs and charts describing your company’s health insurance choices can drown you in a sea of exceptions, disclaimers and overwhelming complications.
The problem is that when you’re neck-deep in the details of your daily operations, it’s too easy to lose sight of what you should do with employee health insurance, and what can be done to bring improvements.
According to a Towers Watson & Co. survey last year, a majority of CEOs and employers are developing plans to manage rising healthcare costs and improve the care delivery process, after the looming changes brought forward by the Affordable Care Act and Patient Protection.
Organizations recognize the need to create value-based insurance designs and a supportive culture to engage employees and make them productive for their own well-being. This is possible via achieving critical success in cost reduction and improvements in employee health insurance and productivity.
If you’re convinced that you should do better with health insurance for your employees, here’s what you need to do:
Consider flexible spending accounts (FSAs)
Flexible spending accounts set aside pre-tax dollars via payroll deductions to cover eligible healthcare costs that are not covered by health insurance. Eligible expenses include treatment such as psychological care, chiropractic care, dental care, and a few more, although funds should be applied in the same year as they are deducted.
These accounts can save CEOs on expenses by giving you the option to reduce the number of expenses eligible under your own healthcare plan, thereby reducing premium for employees. If FSAs have forfeiters at the end of the annual year, companies can also apply them toward offsetting reasonable administrative costs incurred during the year of planning. Company matching FICA taxes are also brought down proportionally for every dollar employees bring to their FSAs.
Use technology and resources to improve employee benefit offering
After the Affordable Care Act, a number of resources are available to help company CEOs to understand their options for improving employee benefit offering as well as providing healthcare coverage for employees. Online resources such as Healthcare.gov, for instance, include information on how to get affordable care and coverage for employees.
New cloud based analytical solutions allow CEOs to develop in-depth strategies to reduce healthcare costs and insurance premium while improving service quality. Such tools also have features that allow users to improve benefit offerings by determining the ideal options for their staff pertaining to future and current health risks, plan design, and network performance. Companies like VitalSpring are leaders in the enterprise healthcare software industry.
Join group insurance plans
Group health insurance plans can cover companies with up to 50 employees. The larger the group, the lower will be the premiums. A survey from America’s Health Insurance Plans reveals that companies with 26 to 50 employees were paying $287 a month in insurance premiums. The rule of thumb when joining these groups is to partner with people in your state, as healthcare laws are governed according to state regulations.
Because these groups put you in control of the coverage and cost, you get group benefits that fits the unique needs of your firm, regardless of its size. Pooled benefits allow your organization to keep premiums stable year after year.