At a time when so many businesses are struggling to find and retain workers, it’s important to remind ourselves that health benefits are far more than a line item on your profit and loss statement. Recruiters consistently point out that most job seekers will accept a lower salary if a company offers a great benefits package. When it comes to engagement, few things drive loyalty and performance like a company culture based on caring for employees. Higher productivity and lower absenteeism typically follow.
When stress levels are elevated as they have been for quite some time, your health plan can be both a motivator and a cost saver – especially when your plan is self-funded. Strategies such as reference based pricing and direct contracting provide opportunities for significant cost savings while plan designs can be adjusted to address the needs of your employee population. This is especially important coming out of a period when many people have delayed or skipped care due to Covid-19 lockdowns or out of pocket costs they simply couldn’t afford.
Information and Communication are Key
By consistently analyzing claims data, we keep clients informed not only on large claims and challenges like specialty drugs but on steps they can take to control the costs associated with chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
Accenture’s Healthcare System Literacy index shows that the number of employees unable to make informed choices about their care continues to rise. When people don’t understand their benefits, they lack the confidence needed to navigate a complex healthcare system and inappropriate treatment and higher costs often result. Even though tools to monitor certain health conditions and compare providers based on cost and quality keep coming, not everyone has the tech savvy needed to benefit from them.
As a result of the pandemic, much has been done to help employees through the enrollment process, however the plan they select needs to help them all year long. Whether ongoing support is provided by a nurse navigator program or an expert customer support team, there must be a greater emphasis on customer service and communication. When designed and administered with your business objectives and employees in mind, a high quality self-funded plan will contribute as much to the health of your business as it does the wellbeing of your employees.