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Offering a competitive employee benefits package is practically a necessity in today's job market, but it's becoming more and more expensive to do so. That's why many organizations are turning to consumer-oriented benefits in order to contain costs and set themselves apart from the competition.
Guardian Life Insurance released their 5th annual workplace benefits study and there's a lot you can learn from it. The primary focus of the study is how new technology is allowing human resources departments to simplify benefits management both for themselves and their employees.
Drug prices have been rising for a while now — studies show that they've been increasing at a rate faster than inflation since at least 2008. This is causing a number of issues for patients who can't afford their medication as well as who are attempting to provide comprehensive health coverage on a budget. Over half of Americans polled think that drug prices should be a top concern for the administration, and the administration seems to agree.
Crafting an employee benefits package is a multifaceted problem. The key word there is craft. It takes more than a dry list of benefits — however enticing they may seem — to see a positive return on your investment. For example, communicating benefits to employees isn't something that's separate from your benefits package, it's an integral part of it. That should include how to sign up for them, what they do, how they relate to their situation, and how to use them.
It's becoming more and more clear that we need to lower the cost of healthcare across the board. What's being done now often amounts to shifting around costs. Either the patient pays more out of pocket, the health insurance provider takes on more liability, or the employer bears an ever-increasing burden. Many employers view this as a problem that is ultimately outside of their control, but this is the wrong way to look at things. You can and should be proactive, but first, you need a clearer picture of what's going on.
If you're looking for a benefit that appeals to millennials it's hard to do better than student debt relief. The current total for student loan debt in America is a staggering 1.6 trillion dollars — you can watch it tick up and up yourself if you're so inclined. That's more than credit card debt and auto loan debt combined. And who is carrying most of this debt? Millennials, of course. For many younger employees, this debt is keeping them from purchasing homes, getting married, and starting families.
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are a great way for businesses to save on their healthcare costs. They allow you to contribute money — tax-free of course — into a savings account that your employee can later use for certain health-related expenses. The popularity of HRAs has been ballooning in recent years, and the Trump administration seeks to encourage this with new regulations expanding the usage of HRA.
Ask any employee what their most desired benefit is. Nine times out of ten, the answer will be health insurance. Employees feel like they need it, and they will gladly turn down any job offer that doesn't include it as a benefit. As healthcare costs continuing to rise this puts employers in an awkward position. How do you provide insurance for employees while keeping costs in check?
We've all made mistakes. It's inevitable, especially when you're dealing with something complicated like employee benefits enrollment. Mistakes will happen, but you don't need to keep making the same ones over and over.
We've said before that in order to get the most out of your benefits package you need be able to communicate its value to your employees. This is easier said than done — even when the people in charge of your benefits understand their workforce. When they don't, the problem is exacerbated greatly. What we're currently seeing is that many businesses are dealing with a culture gap between upper-level employees and lower level employees because of millennials entering the workforce.
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