Unique Ways to Save on Your Benefits Program
In a time where the price of almost everything seems to be skyrocketing, finding savings can feel like finding a unicorn. Like the demand on housing - food, furniture, gas, and even employee benefits are also having their moment.
How do you find savings within your benefits program?
There are strategizes to help control benefits costs, such as implementing wellness programs and telemedicine. But, possibly one of the most effective ways to find savings on your current program is to educate your workforce on the benefits you offer and how to best use them.
Having a benefits-savvy staff could mean lower claims costs for you.
Set Your Strategy
Many employers are struggling with how to communicate to their employees in this new age. The same challenges that always existed – tight budgets and slim staff – are now coupled with the reality of a remote workforce.
Effective benefits communication helps employees so they can be motivated to make better decisions. By doing this they will naturally become smarter consumers.
94% of employees do not have a very high level of understanding of their health benefits¹
Start your strategy by asking yourself how you like to receive information. If you’re like many, you want consistent education through multiple, easy-to-understand mediums.
Best practices for employee education include frequent and targeted communications through postcards, email, and your organization’s social outlets, and group meetings prior to enrollment to reach all your people. Individual education may now be more essential than ever in ensuring employees understand their benefits and how to use them.
Read: How COVID-19 Should Change Your Benefits Communication Strategy
Geoff Macy, former Chief Operating Officer at Northwest R-1 School District in Missouri turned to American Fidelity for help communicating benefits information to his multi-location district. Watch his story
“The idea that people are utilizing the benefits people are paying for and they’re utilizing it to increase their quality of life, to me that’s the greatest thing that American Fidelity has done for Northwest.” Geoff Macy, COO
Once you determine and set your communication strategy, consider other tools to help drive additional savings.
Promote Total Wellness
Across organizations, there’s a surge in prioritizing employee wellness programs. Traditionally, these included benefits like group fitness programs, on-site medical facilities, healthy snacks, or subsidized healthy lunch options. And in some programs, more complex benefits, like biometric screenings to identify areas of improvement.
Today, more employers are also adding access mental health resources to which may provide employees free counseling sessions or subscriptions to wellness apps, as examples. Upfront access to preventative services that support total wellbeing may help your organization from incurring claims often related to behavioral health.
Include Access to Telemedicine
Telemedicine also provides opportunities to develop lower-cost alternatives to traditional primary care. Telemedicine can be a good first line option for basic care, and can be particularly effective in rural communities, where access to doctors may require significant time and effort. Usually, the cost-per-visit is lower than an in-person appointment and allows your employees to visit with a provider on their schedule.
Implement Health Literacy
Employers can encourage cost-saving behaviors by offering employees opportunities to learn more about making healthy choices, from the food they eat to the benefits they elect. If done well, these can be win-win, reducing costs for both the employer and the employee.
Read: Wellness at Work: Adjusting Your Benefits Program for a Changed America
This blog is up to date as of September 2021 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.