Posted May 29, 2015
Next to having a great job with an excellent employer, a quality benefits package may help to sweeten a job offer. But benefits costs continually increase, causing many employers and employees to explore ways to keep expenses under control. Here are three ways to manage costs:
- Engage employees through consumerism – The Affordable Care Act encourages employees to take responsibility for their health care decisions and benefits choices. This includes evaluating benefits choices, shopping for the best health professionals for services and weighing fees, copayments and procedure costs. Research shows employees are more engaged with their work when they are active consumers and receive educational support from employers on how to understand and use their benefits. And engaged employees are more productive, focused on safety and have lower health care expenses.
- Employ technology – Studies by the Gantry Group of small businesses show the use of benefits technology tools helps lower overall costs. Factors that affect costs are premiums, plan administration and extensive use of coverage options. New technology software makes it easier to enroll employees and monitor benefits costs.
- Explore benefits options –Sales representatives for benefits plans are excellent resources to identify ways to customize and package plans to provide the coverage desired to meet employees’ needs, while also keeping an eye on costs. Consider these additional ideas:
- Provide opportunities for employees to ask benefits questions.
- Ask insurance carrier representatives to participate in enrollment meetings to explain benefits choices and coverage options.
- Request the carrier representative to provide benefits information in simple explanations to share with employees.
- Regularly review the carrier’s website for the latest information on health care regulations, tips on plan administration and ways to manage costs.