we provide the team.
Gaining clarity and agreement on purpose and expectations is a big conversation in every organization. When it comes to employee benefit programs, the many voices engaged in the conversation often have very different things to say. For instance, when it comes to cost sharing, the views of the CFO can be notably different from those held by the CEO and HR Director and perhaps wildly different from those of the employees.
Short-term cost sharing tactics can lead to significant onetime savings of 5 to 10 percent but while effective in the short term, particularly for an organization not yet managing costs proactively, these tactics rarely go far enough. Given projected health care cost increases, even an aggressive attack on costs may not be sufficient to protect the health of your bottom line. To make matters even worse, ignoring the other voices in the conversation to achieve short-term savings can have long-term consequences. You could actually end up alienating employees and discouraging them from getting preventive care for complications associated with chronic diseases. And, while higher co-pays and deductibles can be a powerful way to influence employee demand for health care services, they may discourage some from taking necessary medication and cause them to hesitate in getting needed medical care.
At Beneflex we have learned that in order to answer these questions, you need to engage all the voices in your organization in a big conversation about the purpose and expectations of your employee benefit programs. That’s why we start with a conversation, to identify company fiscal objectives and initiatives while creating a benefits package that provides true value to the employees. We accomplish this by partnering with our clients to create unique, customized solutions specifically designed for their organization. We impartially look at cost while researching creative, innovative products that leverage your company strengths and ultimately maximizes your cost savings.
When it comes to containing or reducing health benefit costs, as in most areas of human endeavor, the simplest strategies are often the most effective.
The good news is that as long as participation is measured and incentives are structured to reward participation, the new rules provide a lot of freedom. Here are a few more well-known wellness program observations:
Despite being well document facts, these four observations are well on their way to becoming platitudes, even trite truisms. Perhaps more valuable is an understanding of how accountability under pins each of these. Asking employees to take accountability for their health and subsequent consumption of benefits is not a one-dimensional affair.
At Beneflex, we have proven the effectiveness of a wellness program is critically dependent upon a long-term, integrated approach with accountability being shared from the top to the bottom of your organization. We have also learned the most significant cost control results are achieved when self-funding is coupled with an effective wellness program.