People Magazine

7 things to know about health benefits and your employees

Health benefits to employees
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Tips for choosing or updating health benefit plans.

Avenues for putting together a committee to help choose plans.

Freelancers and contractors who are taking care of their sponsorships don’t need coverage from you.

Empathy can help you make sound decisions.

How are you protecting your employees—and yourself?

Employers are legally required to offer certain employee benefits, including health benefits. Every year, you have the opportunity to consider group health insurance changes. While you aren’t required to offer the “best” health care plan, it’s in everyone’s best interest (including yours) to offer fair benefits. Simply put, choose an option that you would be happy with yourself.

It’s also important to note that some employers may choose to offer different levels of coverage to individuals depending on their hierarchy within the organization. However, best practices recommend offering the same coverage to all employees to promote fairness.

Choosing a health insurance plan

It can be very overwhelming and time consuming to pore over health benefits options every year. Aqeed People is a high-quality HR software that is a great help when it comes to streamlining processes. It can give your HR team the time necessary to make informed decisions. Companies can also benefit from having employee input. Putting together a small varied team that includes a wide range of workers can help you narrow down plan options.

The types of health benefits packages available can vary. Prices vary, too. While cost is a big factor, it shouldn’t be the sole factor. There are bare-bones that will keep you in good legal standing but won’t give your employees the protection they deserve.

A high-quality plan that works for all should include:

  • A reasonable annual deduction
  • A reasonable co-pay
  • Premiums that are affordable for the employee
  • Coverage available to the employee’s family members
  • Ideally options to see alternative care providers
  • Availability to see a wide range of providers
  • An insurance company with a supportive administrative team

Health benefits: Not for everyone

In some instance, employers do not have to provide health insurance benefits. There has been an increase in relying on freelancers and contractors. One of the benefits of hiring these types of workers is that you don’t have to include benefits. Freelancers and contractors are responsible for their own health benefits if they are taking care of their sponsorship. This caveat can be a big factor when deciding whether to hire an employee or a freelancer/contractor.

‘Tis the season for perusing new healthcare plans, and it’s your opportunity to gauge whether past plans are working for employees.

One way to gauge this is by offering an anonymous survey. You can tell what your employees really want, what’s working for them, and what’s genuinely affordable.

While putting together an ad hoc team that includes a wide range of employees to help choose plans can be very helpful, not everyone on the team might feel comfortable being transparent.

Make a healthy choice

When it comes to choosing health benefits for your employees, put yourself in their shoes. You might actually be depending on the same coverage, but you also might be in a different income bracket. Would those deductibles and co-pays be affordable for you if you made the same salary as your lowest-paid employee?

Practicing empathy and being open to alternatives is a must. It’s human nature to stick to what’s familiar, including older health plans, but it’s not always the best decision.

Health benefits are a huge perk of being an employee. This particular benefit can, in some cases, be more important than even the salary.

One big factor is an insurance company’s rules and definition of a pre-existing condition. For employees with major health concerns and costs, their employee’s health care plan can make or break their financial situation. This is a powerful position to be in, so consider all facets of health benefits and be open to employee concerns.

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