The decisions employers make regarding their benefits offerings during this period of economic uncertainty will likely have lasting impacts on their finances, their employees’ expectations, and their ability to attract and retain talent — all of which can affect the organization’s overall health.
To ensure continued success, employers should critically evaluate each and every area of operations, including employee benefits. Zeroing in on this particular piece of the operational puzzle can help you uncover opportunities for cost savings that could potentially impact your organization’s bottom line.
The following recommendations offer actionable strategies employers can implement today to maximize their benefits program and support operations in lean times.
Re-Evaluate Plan Designs
To bolster the overall cost-effectiveness of their operations, many employers are taking this opportunity to re-evaluate their health plan designs and offerings to ensure maximum savings. Some organizations are shifting to self-funded or partially self-funded health plans, while others are leveraging health reimbursement arrangements or health savings accounts to incentivize employees to make financially smart healthcare choices.
Our 2023 State of Health Care Report contains valuable data demonstrating how other employers are shifting their benefits strategy this year.
Improve Employee Health Care Literacy
Improved healthcare literacy can lead to significant cost savings, as informed employees are more likely to make cost-effective healthcare decisions. That’s why taking action to boost employee healthcare literacy can be an excellent strategy to support operations in a slow-growth economy.
From assisting employees in avoiding unnecessary out-of-network care to guiding them to low-cost outpatient and inpatient care options, enhancing your workforce’s healthcare literacy can reduce overall medical expenses for both parties.
Many employers are also creating user-friendly benefits portals to educate employees and provide them with critical information, such as health plan options, forms, enrollment calendars and links to additional healthcare resources.
For more tactics to enhance employee health care literacy, download our guide, Building a Year-Round Communications Strategy.
Create a Comprehensive Benefits Package
During tough economic times, employers may have to cut back on benefits. But organizations can still support employees with mental health resources, financial wellness programs, and a wider range of voluntary benefits.
Thinking outside the box and leveraging cost-effective employee benefits can help preserve the quality of your offerings while freeing up funds for other operational areas needing additional support during an economic slowdown.