With insurance premiums rising, the cost of company-sponsored benefits increases for employers and employees, leading to tough decisions. During the next open enrollment period, employees may find that their current health plan demands a more significant chunk of their paycheck.
Medical benefits are a powerful recruiting tool for employers looking to recruit top talent, but the rising costs can make it difficult for organizations to stay competitive.
Coming out of the pandemic, rising market inflation and the increased utilization rate of healthcare services are two variables that could impact the cost of employer-sponsored health plan premiums in 2023.
To counter these increased costs and keep healthcare plans affordable, employers may not select as comprehensive a plan as they have previously, requiring employees to potentially spend more out of pocket for healthcare that offers less. Employees need to understand their options to make informed decisions.
To help employees make more informed decisions during open enrollment, here is a three-step guide for HR leaders to explain inflation’s impact on the cost of medical benefits.
Communicate More – The first thing businesses can do is explain and compare the benefit plans offered and why they were selected. Depending on the size of your business, hold company-wide or departmental meetings before open enrollment periods. Zoom’s screen share easily allows HR leaders to guide employees through medical plan options, answer questions about deductibles, and review the differences between PPO vs. HMO insurance plans.
One-on-One Support – Not all employees will feel comfortable asking about medical insurance benefits or premium costs over a public Zoom. Before you end your meeting, announce that you’ll be available for one-on-one sessions. Set aside office hours to meet with individuals and answer questions about plan differences, personal vs. family deductibles, and how to find out if a particular healthcare professional is part of a specific plan.
Decision Support Tools – During Zoom meetings and one-on-ones, be prepared with visual aids that outline the insurance plan options, costs, and benefits in simple terms. By showing the various plan options your business has selected, explaining why they were chosen, and the deductible differences, you can take employees through a cost-savings analysis to make an informed decision about their healthcare benefits.
Ultimately, a health care plan is a personal decision based on unique needs, family size, and budget. But by communicating with the team, offering one-on-ones, and prepping decision support tools, HR leaders help employees understand their benefit options and make informed decisions about their healthcare options.
IMA will continue to monitor regulator guidance and offer meaningful, practical, timely information.
This material should not be considered as a substitute for legal, tax and/or actuarial advice. Contact the appropriate professional counsel for such matters. These materials are not exhaustive and are subject to possible changes in applicable laws, rules, and regulations and their interpretations.