Think Strategically about Employee Benefits

Dec 08, 2014

In the past, employers and consumers understood benefits were either offered or not-offered at their organization. In today’s world employers have to change their mind-set and think strategically. To think strategically forces us to look for new solutions that meet both the needs of the organization as a business as well as securing the financial and family benefits needs of our Human Capital. Looking at the “hidden” paycheck is eye-opening to employees. Providing a total compensation statement demonstrates the “true” value of the benefits package offered by an employer.

With spousal carve-outs and high deductible health plans rapidly gaining traction, more analysis and consumer engagement is needed. New products including transparency tools and advocacy services are emerging. Employers are providing technology solutions that allow their employees to compare the costs and weigh the benefits of the plan offerings.

The force of nature, which is the implementation of Health Care Reform (ACA), is pushing Americans to take a different approach to their own needs. Much like buying a home or a car, they are not just settling for the lowest price. They are evaluating the pros and cons of all options. Do I want to pay more out of my check for a lower payment at the time of service or do I want less out of my check and take the risk that I may incur a claim and have to pay out of my pocket?

Most of us purchase home and auto insurance for catastrophic loss and not for the flat tire or oil change. American’s don’t go broke over the $100 office visit, but rather the catastrophic hospitalization or surgery cost.

Employers are designing plans that engage their employees to take an active role in seeking the appropriate care at the appropriate time. To take it another step further, HR and Operations are working together to align the mission and vision of their organization with the benefits they are offering. As an example, if you are a “technologically advanced” organization you should be communicating your benefits through technology (videos, online enrollment, comparison tools, etc.).

Thinking strategically allows for innovation and efficiencies to emerge. Find a consultant that you trust to facilitate your own strategic planning session and understands your business needs are essential. Remember, pain points within an organization create priority initiatives and opportunities for growth. What is your low hanging fruit?

For more information contact: Susan Rider @GA_SusanRider or