How to utilize medical benefits to attract and retain talented employees
The following is written by Elizabeth Alcamo, CEBS who is a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist at The Beacon Group of Companies.
A challenge many employers across all industries face is attracting the right talent. With health care costs rising astronomically, employers must be extra creative with their benefit dollars. A few thoughts to help stir those creative juices follow:
Are you currently offering a Health Savings Account (HSA) – compatible High Deductible Health Plan? If yes, consider implementing a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA).
- – With an HRA, employers can “pay as they go,” which eases cash flow throughout the year.
- – An HRA is not portable to employees. With an HSA, employees can take the money you have funded when they leave.
- – With an HSA an employer is guaranteed to spend the amount that they are choosing to fund. With an HRA, if the employee doesn’t use the money then the employer isn’t spending it; the arrangement is essentially a “promise to pay.”
Also, you can track the HRA dollars spent throughout the year and provide utilization reports on a yearly or quarterly basis.
How many medical plans are you currently offering?
- – Sometimes one benefit plan doesn’t fit all, we recommend offering two to three plans from which employees can choose.
- – Use a “base” and “buy-up” approach, where employees can select what is best for them.
- – A buy-up plan allows for more frequent users to get a richer benefit by contributing more to the premium. Whereas, those anticipating low utilization can select the base plan and increase their take home pay.
Use these ideas to help craft a customized approach with your company’s benefits program and you will go a very long way towards improving your ability to attract, retain, and even motivate employees. As you go about this process remember that it isn’t all about the salary to employees, rather it’s about the “whole benefits package”. On that note, here’s a final thought to help with your talent recruitment efforts and also to provide a boost to your existing employees’ appreciation level, consider providing employees with a Total Compensation Statement. The statement would list compensation along with the cost of all company-paid benefits such as health, dental, life, and disability premiums, 401(k) contributions, paid-time off (PTO) and so forth to reflect the whole benefits package.