Many employees say the benefit package is the primary reason they stay with their employer. Here are 14 ideas to improve your company benefits and maybe even save some money.
1. Align your health insurance deductible with national averages.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the national average for deductibles in smaller employer plans in 2015 was $1,836 per person. If your deductible is lower than this average, it may make sense to consider raising it.
2. Share a percentage of premium costs with employees.
Sharing costs with employees as a percentage of premium (rather than a fixed amount) helps employees and employers work together to address the rising cost of healthcare insurance. In 2015, the national average employee contribution for single plan coverage was 18% and family plan coverage was 29%. How do your employee contributions compare with these averages?
3. Allow employees a pre-tax health premium option.
Implementing a Section 125 premium-only-plan or “POP” enables employees to contribute their share of health insurance premiums on a pre-tax basis. Do you have a “POP” plan in place?
4. Allow employees access to voluntary payroll deduction benefits.
Payroll deduction or voluntary benefits essentially cost you nothing, expand your benefit menu, and often give employees access to plans they may not be able to qualify for on their own. Voluntary plans can cover specific illnesses, disability, accident coverage, dental insurance, life insurance, and more. Do you allow employees access to voluntary payroll deduction benefits?
5. Have a company dental insurance plan.
Dental coverage can be perceived to be an expensive benefit, but perception is not always reality. In some regions (like Cincinnati) there are reasonably priced dental plans that have proven to be very popular. Do you already have or or have you recently considered dental insurance for employees?
6. Have a company vision plan.
Vision plans are affordable and provide a very useful benefit to employees. Vision plans may be available as an add on to a group plan, on a voluntary basis, or attached to an ancillary plan (like stand alone dental coverage). Do you offer a vision plan to your employees?
7. Provide short term disability insurance.
Short term disability insurance helps pay a portion of an employee’s wages in the event of a short term sickness or disability. Short term disability insurance is very affordable and has a high perceived value. Do you have or or have you considered short term disability insurance for your employees?
8. Provide long term disability insurance.
Long term disability helps cover a portion of an employee wages in the event of a long-term sickness or disability. Many of the statistics about bankruptcies related to illness or injury stem from loss of wages after disability. Group, individual, and voluntary payroll deduction options may be available to help your employees cover this risk. Do you provide employees access to long term disability coverage?
9. Provide supplemental life insurance options for employees.
In the modern era, fewer people are meeting with agents to cover their basic life insurance needs. Employers can provide access to group, individual, and payroll deduction life insurance to make coverage more easily accessible for their employees. Do you provide or allow
employees access to supplemental life insurance coverage through your company?
10. Consider a Health Reimbursement Arrangement.
Sometimes called a “Health Reimbursement Account,” HRAs are an IRS approved way to reimburse employees for certain out-of-pocket healthcare costs that may not be covered by a traditional health insurance plan. Employers make contributions to an employee’s account which in turn provides reimbursement for eligible expenses. Have you considered or do you offer a Health Reimbursement Arrangement for your employees?
11. Allow employees access to retirement annuities.
A consequence of the shift away from defined benefit pension plans is that many people will lack sufficient lifetime income to meet basic expenses when they retire. Employers can help employees build “private pensions” which can pay a guaranteed income for life. Do you provide a way for you or your employees to establish retirement income annuities?
12. Encourage employees to be healthier.
From company-paid gym memberships (some start as low as $10/month), to pedometers (some cost less than $10 to purchase), to wellness programs (give every employee a copy of Take Care of Yourself by Donald M. Vickery), there are many ways to encourage employees to live healthier lifestyles and become better consumers of healthcare. Do you provide any type of independent wellness incentives for your employees?
13. Review benefits with your employees annually.
Helping your employees better understand and remain updated about their benefits makes a huge difference. Do you hold at least an annual review with employees to keep them informed about offerings and updates in their benefit plans?
14. Collect feedback from your employees about their benefits.
Conducting periodic surveys to collect employee feedback related to overall satisfaction about benefit offerings can be an invaluable resource for employers. Have you ever conducted a survey to assess employee satisfaction with your company benefit plans?
Exploring just a handful of the above ideas can help make a difference in the cost, overall quality, and satisfaction levels with your employee benefit plans.
If you would like help learning more about any of these ideas, feel free to contact Ted or Mike at our agency via phone at 513-891-9888, or reach us by email at this link.
What are your thoughts?
- What other creative approaches have you taken to help control the costs and improve the quality of your employee benefit plans?
- Are you surprised to learn that by allowing access to voluntary offerings you can make such a major difference for employees?
- Have you ever surveyed your employees to assess their overall satisfaction level with your company’s benefit plan?
Availability of plan offerings and benefits mentioned above are subject to enrollment, underwriting, regulatory, and other eligibility guides. Contractual limitations may apply. Never cancel current insurance before receiving approval in writing from any new or proposed insurer.