As the days of summer quickly get us to Labor Day…fall means 2011 planning! Are you ready to review your employee benefits programs and costs? Here are a few tips to keep in mind that will help trim your costs:
Do your employees really know the “value” of their benefits? If not, $how them!!! A benefits statement is a customized, individualized statement which shows the costs of their benefits and is used to increase employees’ awareness of the value of their benefits package.
Employees who understand and appreciate their benefits evaluate other job positions on an “apples-to-apples” basis (factoring in the value of all benefits, not just take-home pay). An informed workforce is the most effective defense against employee turnover.
The Benefits Statement can also be used as a communication tool for 2011 Open Enrollment.
Reconcile the Data:
Are you carrying benefits for terminated or inactive employees or dependents that no longer meet coverage criteria? Conduct a quarterly audit focusing on the following:
- Make sure only active employees on your insurance plans
- Remove terminated employees
- Full-time students who no longer meet the age coverage criteria
- Spouses/dependents of employees
By doing an audit and requiring documentation that spouses and dependents who are on your plan are actually related to the employee in question, you can drop your total number of covered individuals by as much as 10 percent. Of course, in doing this, you’re presenting employees with a tough message on trust, and the ones who are not being forthright will be the ones with the worst reaction.
Want to get your employee’s attention…how about some cold-hard-cash for healthy habits! Keep your costs down by promoting healthy habits. A quarterly blood pressure and cholesterol screening that is within the “healthy range” keeps employees healthy (and healthcare claims costs down!) Consider offering employees a small stipend for every quarter their blood pressure stays in the “healthy range”.
Some other cost-savings / free programs to consider:
- Company Walking Club: Walking teams can compete against each other…nothing like a little friendly competition!
- Many health-plans have “Living Healthy” programs whereby employees can get partial reimbursement for gym memberships and weight loss programs. Contact your plan’s member benefits for more info.
What have you implemented in the past to help contain your employee benefits costs?