Health care reform and controlling employee benefit costs may not be the most interesting topics of conversation but we seem to be having them more often with business owners these days as they seek ways to control benefit costs without sacrificing coverage that is desirable to their employees. The high cost of health insurance is being felt nationwide, but is acutely higher in Oklahoma. Most employers value their employees but in an effort to control costs may make some dangerous choices by taking the following actions to control costs:
1. Eliminating employee benefits altogether
2. Increasing employee’s portion of health premiums
3. Increasing deductibles or co-payments
4. Drastically changing their existing health plan: i.e. slashing the drug coverage, dropping valuable benefits
All this leaves employees feeling helpless, especially if they can’t qualify for individual health care or afford it individually or their spouse doesn’t have benefits available through their employer. Many employees become dissatisfied and look for other options. According to an article in
BenefitsPro, June 6, 2012; “Unemployment numbers don’t faze workers who say they are ready to find another job and that benefits are likely to be a factor in their decision.” They also cite a 2012 Aflac Workforces report that states,”49 percent of workers are at least somewhat likely to look for a job this year.”
In a tight economy no employer wants to lose employees and have to hire and train new workers. That only results in lost time and production and increased costs. Fortunately there are other options that are cost effective and easily implemented so the business owner can get on with earning a living and growing their business. Colonial Life published a white paper that describes five cost control strategies for employee benefits that are a win-win for both employee and business owner. http://www.coloniallife.com/en/Newsroom/~/media/acrobat/newsroom/white%20papers/NS-12430-white-paper.ashx. Whether you are a business owner or employee who wants better benefits we hope you will read the article and contact us for help. The future of the healthcare industry is uncertain but Perimeter Insurance Agency can answer Oklahoma employers questions and concerns. We help busy Oklahoma employers find the right employee benefit plan to match their budget in order to manage their bottom line and keep employees productive and happy.