We hear it everyday on the nightly news, splashed on the newspaper, even on talk radio. Things like “we’re not out of this recession yet” and “it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” Well how about a little more optimism! There ARE things you can do to help your health insurance plans make strides in such an uncertain time.
Preventative care is now 100% paid for- all blood tests, physicals, pap smears, mammograms, and well-baby exams are free. With tons of new research & technology, generics are making prescription drugs more affordable. Gyms have seen a downturn in membership and often offer employers huge discounts if a certain amount of their employees sign up. These are all facts that help employees feel more comfortable and less fearful of their health & their finances. Keep the focus positive to encourage employees & their families. Focus on the tangible behaviors that impact employees’ wallets.
Open enrollment is the perfect opportunity to promote your company’s health benefits. Keep open enrollment communications simple and direct. Employees don’t use or understand benefits jargon. If you give personal, real-life examples of how these plans operate, your employees will have less questions & less confusion. As an HR professional or small business owner, you know that affordability is key- for both you and your employees. When the time for renewal comes, evaluate your plan’s competitiveness in the job market. Job seekers do compare company benefit plans before making a decision on a job offer. Make sure your benefit packages are influential in employee satisfaction & loyalty.
Communication, communication, communication! According to the Society for Human Resource Management, only one in five small business employees believe that his or her employer’s benefits communications educate employees effectively about their benefits programs. What better way to solve this than by distributing a monthly Health Newsletter? You can include health-related jokes, recommendations for nearby providers, interesting articles, and a summary of monthly events, for example October happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A simple tool like this has been proven to increase employee productivity (healthy workers are happy workers!), control insurance costs (employees can lose weight, get healthy, lower their risks & therefore costs), and retain employees (a good plan = employees that stay). Retaining top talent and increasing employee job satisfaction are two strategies that help small business employers thrive in the current economic climate.
When you have a good health insurance broker, your needs as well as the employees’ needs will be met. Know about Sandra from accounting who’s having foot surgery in a few months? Christine in IT who is planning to start a family now that she’s back from her honeymoon? From the Logistics department, Joe’s son who was just diagnosed with multiple sclerosis? A highly professional and knowledgable broker like Steve can help you figure out what plans are best to accommodate pregnancies, surgeries, and pre-existing conditions, while still saving you money.
Good luck out there!