Tailoring Benefit Programs to Meet Employee Needs
By Paul Roelke, Manager of Member Services
Many employees aren’t satisfied with their employer’s benefit plan and only 35% of employees trust their employer to design a benefit plan in their best interest. This is a serious concern for employers because when employees are dissatisfied with their benefits, they are more likely to leave their job for an organization with a benefit plan that meets their needs. But, in a time when saving money and making strategic decisions is important, it’s hard to know which benefits to focus on.
Mental and Behavioral Health Services
The desire for mental and behavioral health services has been increasing in recent years. An APA survey found 81% of respondents cited mental health services coverage as an important consideration when considering a job. If employers want to remain competitive, they will need to improve their mental and behavioral health coverage to meet the expectations of both current and prospective employees. Designing benefit plans to include virtual care and telehealth providers is a great opportunity for employers to expand access to care for their employees.
According to Pets Best, offering pet insurance as a voluntary benefit is a smart move for employers. Almost 60% of pet owners would “prefer to work for an employer who values pet ownership, while 23% consider it a must.” In addition to offering pet insurance plans to support employees’ financial wellness and ability to pay veterinary bills, employers can offer paid time off and flexible hours for vet appointments.
According to global fertility company Carrot, “fertility benefits are no longer a nice-to-have — they’re a must-have benefit for companies looking to offer inclusive support for their employees and save costs during an uncertain economy.” Offering fertility benefits can also help employers manage and even reduce their healthcare costs. In fact, 97% of companies that began offering fertility benefits did not have an increase in costs.
Student Loan Benefit
Millions of Americans have student loan debt – totaling $1.6 trillion at the end of 2022. Student loan debt can cause financial and emotional stress for employees, creating difficulties both inside and outside of work. By offering student loan benefits, employers can help reduce stress for employees while giving themselves a competitive advantage.
Customized Cost Sharing
Most employers have one premium and cost-sharing strategy for all employees; however, lower earners are disproportionately affected by higher healthcare costs. According to KFF, for low-income employees, even a $1 to $5 change in cost sharing is associated with reduced healthcare utilization. Employers could remove a major barrier to care by tailoring the premiums or cost sharing to their employees’ income level.
Self-funded employers can save a significant amount on their healthcare spend by customizing their network. The Alliance Premier Networks allow employers to incentivize their employees to utilize high-value providers while still offering a broad range of choice with the Comprehensive Network.
When thinking about which health, financial, and lifestyle benefits to include in a benefit plan, it’s important to think about the employee population and decide which benefits are most important to them.
Reach out to our Business Development team to learn how The Alliance can help you optimize your benefit plan for your employees while managing your healthcare spend.
Paul Roelke leads the team responsible for developing and implementing services and solutions for employer-sponsored health benefit plans.