It can be easy to get trapped into focusing on how much your employee health benefit plan costs. While the cost of the plan is important, the value you’re getting from the plan is even more important. This means looking at the worth of the plan or how useful it is to you and your company.
What kind of return are you getting on your benefit plan investment?
Prospective Candidates Care
We hear often from Canadian business owners that job candidates are increasingly inquiring about the company’s benefit plan during the recruitment process. It’s been a challenging couple of years and living through the COVID-19 pandemic has taught all of us to value our health. As a result, prospective employees really do care about what kind of employee health benefits they will have access to if they accept your job offer.
As a business owner, you know how competitive the labour market is right now. Employee benefits have long been known to have an influence on whether or not a potential employee accepts a job offer, but now more than ever your employee benefits plan matters. It’s clear that leveraging every tool in your toolbox to recruit and retain quality employees is essential.
In many organizations, employers don’t share information about their benefits plan with prospective employees until the onboarding process. This is after the employee has already accepted the job offer. This is a missed opportunity. Instead, start promoting your employee benefits plan during the recruitment process. Some potential employees aren’t comfortable asking about your benefits plan but would be positively influenced to join your organization if they learned about it before accepting your job offer.
Increasing your Plan’s Value
There are a number of ways you can increase the value or worth of your employee benefits plan (both for you and your employees).
- Regular Reviews
Your benefits provider or broker should be regularly in touch with you about your employee benefits plan to ensure that you’re getting good performance from it. For some types of plans, this means regular in-depth claims reviews (sometimes called “experience”) during the year, and at renewals. For others it means confirmation that your plan’s “pool” continues to contain your costs well. Regardless, ensure that your benefits provider is regularly reviewing the value of your plan for your business.
- Benefit Updates
Increasing the value of your employee benefits plan can mean updating the benefits you are offering. Your plan should not be static – over time you’ll need to add new benefits or adjust those that you are offering to keep up with the times.
Think about the types of benefits that were standard 5 or 10 years ago, and those that are sought after now. They are very different. These days, employees want virtual healthcare as part of their benefit plan. They’re used to using technology so it makes sense that they want to use technology to have better access to medical care.
Having access to an Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is another benefit that wasn’t typically part of a plan in the not-so-distant past. These days, everyone knows that having access to support for mental health is a good thing for individuals and for the companies they work for.
Wellness benefits are another more recent addition to employee benefit plans. Providing access to wellness benefits like personal training, a wellness spending account or subsidized gym membership can mean a lot to employees.
Updating benefits can also mean adjusting “old” benefits to better meet the needs of employees. Take accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage as an example. These days, AD&D coverage can be replaced with Accident and Serious Illness (ASI) coverage to provide better protection for life’s most challenging times. ASI coverage starts with traditional AD&D benefits but adds in coverage for serious illness (which is a real possibility for many Canadians). These days, including traditional Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage can make your plan look out-dated.
If your employees are not knowledgeable about their employee benefits plan and how to use it, they’re not getting much value from the plan. Communicating information about the plan benefits and how to use them is essential if you want to get the most value out of your plan.
One communication tool we offer at GroupHEALTH is a total compensation statement called BeneStats. Each employee receives a customized statement showing the dollar value of the benefits they receive. This can help employees recognize the value of the benefits they are receiving.
- Cost Containment
Improving the value of your employee benefits plan means containing the costs of the plan. You don’t want to put out extra money when you don’t need to. By containing costs, you can use those savings to add new benefits or coverages to improve the plan.
Smart Rx solutions are a suite of products at GroupHEALTH that target prescription drug costs. Prescription drug costs make up a large portion of total plan costs, so it makes sense to ensure money is not being wasted here. Smart Rx Solutions encourage employees to choose lower cost, equally effective prescription drugs and/or utilize a central dispensing pharmacy.
Cost containment will be positive for your employees, too. For many people, a central dispensing pharmacy is a perk, as it’s very convenient to have prescriptions delivered to your door, and out of pocket expenses for dispensing fees are usually lower. These products help trim excess waste in your benefit plan costs.
Another example is disability management services. These services help support employees during a disability claim, to help get them back to work as soon as they’re able. A customized return-to-work plan and other supports help shorten the length of the disability claim, which helps cut costs. It’s also good for the employee, as statistics show that the sooner an employee returns to work after a disability, the more likely they are to recover to pre-disability health.
Look at the Big Picture
The value of your employee benefits plan should be a high priority. You’ve set goals for the plan, and to get the most value you need to achieve those goals. Employee benefits aren’t just an expense – they are an important investment. You’re investing in the health and wellbeing of your employees – it’s the main way a company can support employees and their families so they can live life to the fullest.
A valuable benefit plan can improve all aspects of your business. Whether it be increased productivity, fewer absences or the ability to attract the best talent, the right employee benefits plan can provide high returns.
Good Advice is Key
Are you getting good value for your employee benefits plan? Are you getting a high return on the investment you’re making in employee benefits? Explore your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone, or contact us for a comparison quote.
Whether you’re looking for extended health and dental coverage, disability coverage, or life and critical illness coverage, GroupHEALTH has affordable benefits packages that work as hard as you do.