|Guest blog content provided to Q4iNetwork consultants by freshbenies|
What are you doing for employees that don’t qualify for benefits or didn’t elect health insurance coverage?
Although rising health insurance premiums may make this question more challenging for employers to answer, it’s also become increasingly important to ask. There are two distinct ways to serve the unbenefited:
- Benefits the employer can provide
- Benefits the employer can offer
Here are three reasons why you should consider proposing benefits for your unbenefited employees.
1. Unmet needs = opportunity
These two groups of employees represent a severely underserved benefit population:
- Those who aren’t eligible for medical coverage
- Those who didn’t elect medical coverage
The latest Milliman study shows costs for healthcare are increasing for employees at an even faster rate than employers. This factors into the number of employees who don’t elect medical coverage. Add to this the 28 million Americans who work part-time and you can see both the need and opportunity for innovative benefits to serve this population.
Here’s a recent example:
A new broker asked me for a proposal for 800 employees. After we discussed the group in more detail, he explained the 800 employees already had medical coverage, but there were over 4,000 employees in the entire group. I asked him, “What about the other 3,200+ employees?” There was silence on the other end of the line.
Our 71% average utilization rate more than justifies adding freshbenies to employees with existing medical coverage, but there’s arguably even more value created by providing services like freshbenies to ALL employees.
2. A holistic benefits strategy
Providing benefit solutions for an entire group, not just those with existing medical coverage, is a strategy that both recognizes and leverages the interconnectedness of employee satisfaction.
Let’s take two employees: Jack and Jill. Both are eligible for health benefits. Jack declines coverage while Jill opts for the new high deductible health plan. Both Jack and Jill work equally hard and are equally valuable to their company. Yet, over the course of the next twelve months, Jill’s employer will likely contribute hundreds to thousands of dollars toward her benefits. Meanwhile, they will contribute nothing toward Jack’s.
Which employee do you think will feel more valued by their company? Which will be less likely to look for another position? Which would readily refer a friend for an open position? Of course, the answer is Jill. But doesn’t Jack deserve some benefit love from his employer, too?
And, there are so many more benefits you can offer. You have the standard worksite benefits like disability, accident, critical illness, long-term care, etc.
There are also perks like Telehealth, pet insurance, identity theft protection, legal savings, other savings networks, student loan repayment, parental leave, tuition reimbursement programs, remote working options, wellness stipends or reimbursements, behavioral health/counseling, volunteer time off, entertainment passes, etc.
Employers who provide benefits for all their employees, independent from the health plan and eligibility rules, can also expect to benefit through:
- Differentiating themselves from competitors
- Increased retention and hiring referrals from current employees
- Employees who are more productive and engaged while at work
3. Better benefits leads to better performance
Putting together a holistic benefit strategy is a win-win scenario. Doing so will allow you to deepen and solidify your relationship with your employees by making sure their pain points are being addressed.
At the same time, you’re also able to differentiate yourself as an employer by providing a comprehensive (and attractive!) benefits packages for current and future employees.
Your employees are the engine that make your business run. Make sure they’re feeling healthy, happy, and valued, and they will take you far.
Photo credit andriano