It’s true that offering health insurance to your employees can be confusing and expensive, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth your time or money. Offering health insurance plans is one way you can show your employees that you care about them and their families. In addition, it can keep your employees healthy so they can continue coming to work, and great healthcare options can even attract quality talent to your business.
That doesn’t mean your health insurance policies should break the bank. There are things you can do to help keep healthcare costs down while offering quality options to your employees.
Put Legal Protections in Place
One of the fastest and most devastating ways your business can lose money is by dealing with an accident that was directly or indirectly caused by your business. From a slip and fall that results in a serious injury to a serious machine accident and product liability, it is extremely important to learn the ins and outs of personal injury and how you can prevent an injury from closing your doors.
Work with an attorney to create policies that protect your business. These protections will also include making sure your business offers workers’ compensation. That way you aren’t financially ruined if there’s an accident, but you can still show your workers that you care about their health.
Offer Wellness Programs to Employees
One of the best ways you can save on healthcare costs is to support your employees in preventing illnesses and injuries in the first place. That means offering a variety of wellness programs that employees can take advantage of for free.
A few wellness programs you can try include:
- Offering free healthy lunches and snacks
- Providing a quiet place for employees to take quick catnaps
- Create a gym on-site or offer a discount on a gym membership
Although offering wellness programs can cost money up front, you’ll end up saving in the long run. The benefits of offering wellness programs include improved productivity, decreased employee absenteeism, and of course, reduced medical costs.
Provide Resources for Choosing Policies
Picking a health plan is confusing. Most people choose a plan based on copays and deductibles, and once they choose a plan, it doesn’t change for years. Both your employees and your business can lose a lot of money if you don’t support your employees in making informed healthcare choices.
It’s important to provide resources to employees that enable them to learn more about your policies and how to choose the best one for their family. Online resources can be convenient, but it’s even better if you allow someone in your HR department to schedule meetings with employees to help them pick the right plan each and every year. Resources should teach employees to consider their healthcare needs before deductibles, potential pharmacy costs, and other health insurance options, Like HSAs.
Give More Time off for Appointments
America, in general, doesn’t do a good job of offering time off to employees. Not only are employees given less vacation time compared to other countries, they are also given less time off in general, which can make going to the doctor extremely difficult.
You should encourage your employees to go to routine doctor’s appointments, as maintaining their health is always less expensive than paying to treat a condition that worsened over time. Make it easier for employees to go for checkups and have routine tests run by giving them time off that can be used to go to routine appointments.
Offer Virtual Healthcare Options
There are many wonderful reasons why you should offer telemedicine benefits to your employees. It improves access to care, especially for employees who are unwilling or unable to take time off work, it can improve long-term health by providing preventative care, and with immediate appointments from home, it can slow the spread of infection. Of course, it’s also a great way to reduce overhead costs too.
It shouldn’t be your employees’ only option, as in-person visits are essential for many symptoms, but it is a great way for employees to be conveniently diagnosed with things like the flu, strep throat, or an infection.
Utilize an On-Site Clinic
Telemedicine can increase access to care for your employees, but an on-site clinic is even better. That doesn’t mean you have to open an actual clinic that operates on your premises full-time! Instead, it means inviting medical professionals to your business to offer various services that don’t require your employees to schedule an appointment or drive to the clinic.
A few services you can offer through an on-site clinic include:
- Routine wellness screenings
- Health risk assessment services
- Chronic condition education and management
- Health and wellness coaching
Plan different on-site clinics throughout the year and add them to the calendar so your employees know they are coming. Reduce employee workloads these days so that everyone in the office has the time to visit the clinic before they head home at the end of the day.
Get Creative With the Plans You Offer
Finally, you can really reduce the costs associated with offering healthcare benefits by getting creative about the actual benefits you offer. Standard healthcare plans are quick and easy, and they are often expected by employees, but you have many other options you can offer.
For example, you may want to consider a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) that can process drug claims and pay for prescription drugs. Because they purchase medications in large quantities, and their job is to broker the best deals directly with drug companies, your business and your employees can save a lot of money by working with one.
Offering healthcare options to your employees can be a hassle, but it’s important. It’s a great way to attract and keep great employees, in addition to caring for them so they can continue bringing their all to work. Fortunately, with a little research and attention, you can offer quality healthcare options without spending more money than you have to.