What are employers doing when it comes to healthcare of their employees? In a nutshell, they’re giving employees more choice and more ownership over their health. This comes partially in result of the Healthcare Reform Act, but it also stems from the fact that if an employer wants to be a best place to work –thus attracting top talent, they better have competitive health care benefits for employees.
Employers are looking to save money AND make their employees healthier
Trending employers of choice will be those that help employees find the insurance coverage they need. They will also provide information about health care coverage changes and different plans. And they will continue to remind employees regularly to take advantage of plan benefits.
Take a look at these examples of these creative health care benefits of some of the nation’s top companies:
- Kroger Co., a popular grocery store, pays a fixed amount for particular drugs or procedures, giving employees an incentive to price shop.
- IBM started giving rebates to workers who adopt healthy lifestyles.
- Cisco's LifeConnections Health Center is more than just a fitness center; it also offers primary care, physical therapy, and acupuncture.
- Hershey isn’t just about chocolate -- their fitness centers are available not just to employees but also to their spouses and dependents over 18.
- Some companies are penalizing smokers with surcharges – one of the few discriminatory measures the new healthcare act allows.
Overall, the word engagement comes to mind when thinking about trends in health care benefits for the next few years. This is twofold. Employers will engage employees in choosing insurance and plans. And they will also engage their employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some more trends you’ll be seeing…
Employers will reward the price shopper. Many employers will begin using plans that will reward cost-savvy choices of the consumer. They will encourage participants to get information about the costs of various options when seeking care. Some examples are: A patient chooses generic over the brand name drug or a patient uses his/her primary care physician before going to a specialist or an emergency room.
Employers will encourage employees to be more aware of their own health risks. Employers will provide biometric screenings so that employees can be more proactive when it comes to staying healthy.
Employers will give incentives employees to be more healthy. Employers will help employees choose health facilities rated as centers of excellence. They will also encourage employees to participate in wellness and disease-management programs. Some employers will even use these as a requirement to select lower-cost design options.
Complete Payroll Processing is a leader in payroll processing in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, is committed to helping our clients stay healthy—and productive! And if you have any questions about health benefits or the new healthcare act we are here to help.