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Employees have an important role to play in bringing down the cost of health care. Here's what you need to know about the movement to turn employees from passive agents into savvy healthcare consumers.
A bill that aims to end the practice of "surprise" medical bills was recently proposed, and it has garnered widespread bipartisan support. Lawmakers from both parties, including President Trump himself, have been expressing their desire to end surprise billing for a while. Until now it's mostly been talk, but with such widespread support and a strong desire from all sides to tackle the problem, all signs point to this bill — or something very similar — soon becoming law.
Trying to create value without knowing what's actually valuable is a waste of effort. It's a universally applicable sentiment, but it's especially true when talking about employee benefits like health insurance. You don't want to give your employees insurance that they don't — or can't — fully make use of. It's a waste of your resources and of their time.
Most Americans still get their health coverage through you, the employer. Unfortunately, the rising cost of healthcare is making it harder and harder to offer great insurance without passing at least some of that burden on to your employees.
Yes, the cost of healthcare is still rising, but it's not all bad news. There are always forward-thinking entrepreneurs ready and willing to meet a need in the market. Being the business who comes up with a creative and sustainable way to contain healthcare costs is enticing, and after all of this trouble we may just end up with a model of health insurance that's better for everyone involved.
To err is human. That was the title of a 1999 paper by the Institute of Medicine. In it, they tackled a number of issues regarding how to make hospitals safer for patients and practitioners. It's a noble goal, but one that can never be fully satisfied. Medical professionals are humans, and humans will always make mistakes.
In many cases, self-funding your medical plan can be an effective way to bring down your health spending without sacrificing too much on quality. However, there's one important facet that many employers, especially mid-size and smaller businesses, must prepare for. That is the liability associated with self-funded plans and how to avoid carrying that risk on your balance sheet.
Businesses don't typically operate solely out of benevolence. Sure, having a passion for quality service is one aspect of running a successful operation but success in the business world is often defined by the bottom line, and that's where things can get dicey. There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to turn a profit, but doing so at the expensive of those you serve is a different issue altogether.
A great benefits package can help your company attract and retain the talent it needs to thrive. A bad one can drive away valuable employees and make you and your business personae non grata for job-seekers. Choosing the right benefits for your employees isn't easy and it involves some trial and error. The process is also prone to personal biases. After all, the daily experiences of your average CEO are far removed from that of your average employee.
Renewing your health plan is something you have to do every year. It's something that is absolutely essential for most businesses. Employers love health insurance and the way it can attract new talent like a magnet. Employees love the peace of mind that it gives them and in many cases rely on it to continue living with an acceptable quality of life.
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