Change is a constant — and this is certainly true for employers dealing with the ever-changing landscape of employee healthcare benefits. While keeping up with these changes, employers have the added challenge of making sure their benefits programs adequately support the needs of employees and their families — while also benefiting the company and supporting its goals.
How well employers succeed in meeting this challenge has far-reaching impacts. According to a survey conducted for America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a trade association for health insurers, 56% of U.S. adults with employer-sponsored health benefits said a key factor in deciding to stay at their current job is whether they like their health coverage or not.
There are specific areas of concern employers must address when it comes to healthcare coverage. However, the following three pain points prove to be among the most challenging for midsize to large companies.
Pain point #1: Rising costs and shrinking value of health benefits can impact employee retention
As costs are rising for most everything, employers are also paying higher prices for employee healthcare plans. The bigger problem is that these higher prices are being passed through to employees, oftentimes forcing families to bear over 40% of medical costs, which averages about $11,500 annually — of which $4,500 is out of pocket. These increases can leave certain employees with no choice but to look for employment with companies that offer better healthcare coverage.
Also, in attempting to offset rising healthcare costs while keeping employees covered, employers might offer benefits packages with increased deductibles, copays, and out-of-pocket limits. Of course, employees notice when benefits become too lean or expensive, which could also prompt them to seek better packages elsewhere.
Pain point #2: Changes in provider networks create further difficulties for employees
When healthcare costs rise, many employers change healthcare providers to help lessen financial impacts. Unfortunately, these provider network changes can create further challenges for employees who must adjust to losing the providers they like and are comfortable using, which can be disruptive.
Other potential issues arise when employees are treated by healthcare specialists who may work in hospitals covered by the employee’s healthcare plan, but who are not part of the provider network themselves. This means an employee can end up getting billed extra and finding out the hard way they are not fully covered like they believed. This can compound the previous pain point to create more reason for an employee to leave.
Pain point #3: Lack of transparency erodes employee trust and performance
Lack of transparency around the true benefits (or lack of benefits) of healthcare coverage creates unwelcome surprises for employees as they discover, after the fact, that services are going to cost more than anticipated — or they find out that insurance carriers are withholding information that could save them money. This can lead to an underlying distrust in the employer and cause resentment, underperformance, and an overall poor work experience. If the prior two pain points weren’t enough to cause employees to seek other employment, this one might be.
A solution is at hand
The good news is there’s a solution to address these pain points in a way that benefits both employees and employers. While employers can’t stop healthcare costs from rising, they can offer employees a purpose-driven, online platform that allows them to become better informed and engaged in managing their healthcare. This provides vital opportunities to:
1. Empower employees with greater choice and customization capabilities
A state-of-the-art online health-benefit platform automates data across the benefits ecosystem to give employees all kinds of competitive health insurance options according to their location. Employees can choose from all available plans, as well as a wider variety of plans that meet their healthcare and budgetary needs.
2. Increase employee trust and satisfaction
In using the platform, employees can compare various health insurance plans based on the specific criteria they select. Visibility of price, plan type, and depth of coverage is displayed so they can easily read and understand what they are selecting. Naturally, this level of transparency helps employees trust their employers more. And because they’re able to choose from competitive plans tailored to their needs, they’re more likely to be satisfied employees.
Such a platform can also help keep benefits costs controlled and predictable from year to year, as well as prevent unexpected business costs from high claim bills. Critically, it can help employees keep the doctors and facilities they love or move to more convenient options.
SureCo offers one platform for everything employee-insurance-related — from health, to vision and dental, and more. Along with being a secure, one-stop-shop for benefits needs, SureCo's Enrollment Platform provides a single, simple, and easy enrollment process for both employers and employees. By offering greater plan carrier choice — with direct connections to over 140 trusted carriers — SureCo helps employers empower their employees with more choice and control over their benefits.
Ready to reduce the above pain points and create a better benefits experience both employees and employers will appreciate? If so, we’d love to help. Schedule a meeting with a SureCo Benefits Expert now.