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Understanding Strategic Employee Benefit Offerings 

Often, when your renewal comes in, more time is spent evaluating alternative carriers using the current plans than looking into creative multiple plan options to meet the needs of both the employer and its employees. Let’s look at some ideas to consider well before your next renewal.   

It is very common today for health insurance companies to allow employers to choose up to three different health plan designs. Have you ever looked closely at all of the options on your renewal letter?  There are tons of plan designs! Let’s face it, health insurance is expensive and with so many different options, using this approach can serve multiple purposes. 

For example, a high deductible health plan with a health savings account means lower premiums and the ability to use pre-tax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket costs.    

Also, there are many insurance carriers offering HMOs with reduced health premiums. Yes, you heard me right! While these plans do require employees to choose a primary care physician and obtain referrals to specialists, the network of providers is still relatively strong. Often, plans such as these are used as a “base plan,” which can be used to set the base contribution. Alternatively, some employers are offering these plans as a “buy-down” to help offset the cost of the family premiums. 

Benefits of Offering Multiple Health Plans 

Health care is the benefit most highly valued by employees, according to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management. Moreover, an Employee Benefit Research Institute study revealed that most employees would like more choices than they currently have when it comes to their health insurance plans. Offering multiple health plans allows employees to select the plan that provides the right amount of coverage at the right cost to remain healthy and productive.  

In today’s tight labor market, it’s even more important for employers to respond accordingly to the workforce’s desires in order to recruit and retain top talent. Employer-provided health insurance offers great peace of mind that employees are taken care of, especially if there are multiple coverage options from which to choose. 

What to Consider 

We are not suggesting kicking the standard $2,500 co-pay medical plan to the curb! Instead, challenge your benefits consultant to think outside the box and look at all of the creative options available. While offering multiple health plans can improve your employee engagement, retention and recruiting efforts, it’s important to remember that this plan model isn’t right for every company. Be sure to align your benefits plans with the strategic goals of your organization. For help with this, please contact Crest Insurance Group, formerly Benefit Logic, at 928-526-5691. FBN 

By Ed Gussio 

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