Building Employee Confidence In the Face of Healthcare Uncertainty

Build Employee Confidence in the Face of Healthcare UncertaintyThe first quarter of 2017 has been plagued by healthcare uncertainty. As Washington continues to debate the fate of the Affordable Care Act, employers and employees speculate about how a decision one way or another might affect HR processes, benefits offerings, and take home pay.

But no matter how the healthcare situation ultimately plays out, concerns about the state of the healthcare market have highlighted fears about financial security and coverage options. A recent study by MetLife reports that 55% of employees worry about having enough money to cover out-of-pocket medical costs including deductibles, co-pays, and premiums. More than half also worry about meeting monthly living expenses.

Employers can help alleviate those fears by exploring additional benefit options that relieve the burden of healthcare costs. And your PEO can help.

Addressing Employee Concerns About Healthcare

Companies can take several steps to give workers greater confidence in their ability to meet healthcare needs for themselves and their families. Here are two options to consider:

  • Wellness Programs—As one of the top nine HR trends this year, wellness programs pack a powerful punch when it comes to encouraging both physical and financial wellbeing. Most large companies now promote wellness initiatives where employees can receive incentives for participating in flu shot drives, preventive health exams, or weight loss programs. About half of small businesses offer such programs.
  • Voluntary Supplemental Health Benefits—Some employers use supplemental benefits such as accident and disability insurance to attract candidates and decrease employee concerns about financial security.

That’s great for employees—but what about the benefit to businesses? Is it really worth it to invest more in wellness programs and additional benefits?

The Business Case for Supplemental Healthcare Options

The business case for these options is that employees who experience fewer financial concerns tend to be more productive on the job and more loyal to their employer. Wellness programs can also benefit the company financially, since preventive care helps create a healthier workforce, resulting in less time off and fewer costly medical interventions.

Still, not every employee participates, despite the opportunity for lower insurance premiums, cash rewards, or employer contributions to a health savings account.

But according to the MetLife study, one-on-one communications with a benefits administrator can boost participation numbers. And that’s where a PEO can help.

How Your PEO Makes Benefits More Accessible

HRIS systems place all of your employees’ benefits information at their fingertips. They can log in, look at the plans available to them, make adjustments to their coverage selections, learn exactly what is covered and what isn’t—it’s all right there for them whenever they need it.

The problem is that employees don’t always find all that information easy to understand.

More than 70% of employees interviewed said that one-on-one consultations with a representative were helpful in understanding the benefits available to them through their employer. Yet, only half of companies offer this kind of guidance.

So how can a PEO help? PEOs provide resources—both technology and personnel—to help guide employees through the essential benefits enrollment process and answer their questions. As your partner, a PEO assists you with:

  • Enrollment Planning
  • Implementation
  • Communication

By effectively educating your employees about their options and helping them choose the right plan for their financial circumstances, a PEO can help your workforce feel more confident about their future.

And that means they will have more energy to focus on moving your business forward.