(By Louis Toffoli)
As a business, helping your employees in their personal lives is an essential step for building a strong work culture. Healthcare coverage can be a personal struggle for many Americans, so helping is a big step as a company.
There are dozens of ways to cut health insurance costs for employees, from investing in preventative care to changing the funding structure. This article will cover fringe benefits that you can offer for employees to reduce health insurance costs.
Emphasize Workplace Stress Reduction
Workplace stress is a common problem in workplaces in all industries. Stress can also contribute to serious health problems in the future. Developing a plan to combat stress in the workplace will result in happier, healthier, and more productive employees.
Fortunately, there are numerous things that you can do in the workplace to offer a less stressful atmosphere.
- Offer paid time off if that is not a current option at your company. Time off from work is necessary for many people, as a change of pace can reduce their stress. According to several studies, there are even strong links between the frequency of taking time off and the rate of heart disease.
- Office are meditation classes or encouraging more breaks throughout the day. The improvement in every employee’s mental health will also improve your retention rate.
- Encourage suggestion boxes or weekly meetings to make sure everyone feels heard. Built up resentment is a strong source of stress we carry around.
Invest in Preventative Care
Avoiding chronic disease and illness is the single best way to reduce employee health costs as a business. While this doesn’t directly cut healthcare costs, when employees are healthier, they are less likely to seek extensive medical treatment.
One of the best ways to invest in an employee’s well-being is by encouraging them to get an annual checkup. Many health insurance providers offer this free for employees, but many don’t take advantage of it. Along with a standard checkup, employees should also do more specialized screenings depending on their risk. Women should get a mammogram done as part of their preventative care routine.
Creating counseling programs for employees can help them live healthier lifestyles. Whether it’s to quit smoking or eat healthier, health counseling gives employees the necessary knowledge they need for a healthier lifestyle.
Telehealth and Cost Reduction
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has become the main form of medicine that people use for non-emergencies. Telemedicine offers a real advantage to patients with lower costs and added convenience.
According to GoodRx, the average telehealth visit costs $40 to $50, with in-person visits costing $176. The convenience of telehealth visits is also a big benefit of choosing telemedicine over in-person care. You will not need to stay in a waiting room, and many healthcare providers will have more available appointments throughout the week. Many doctor’s offices have long waits before your appointment, which can take up to three weeks after scheduling.
However, some things cannot be done via telehealth, such as important screenings and urgent medical treatment. But, by incorporating telemedicine into their healthcare, employees can save more money each year.
Create Incentive Programs for Healthy Habits
People react best to incentives, with health-based programs being no exception. If you want to build a healthy culture in the office, a program that rewards employees for their healthy habits is an excellent way to do it.
A behavior-based wellness incentive program typically offers employees discounts on their insurance premiums, contributions to an HSA, or paid time off. The incentive should be great enough that it will make a significant impact on the employee’s life. Some of the most common activities that employees are incentivized to do are creating fitness goals, attending fitness events, and sticking to a diet. If an employee can do that for a set amount of days, they receive rewards.
With open enrollment 2022 coming to an end, you should help employees reduce healthcare costs. The first place you should start is improving the overall health of the workplace. By offering health counseling and focusing on preventative care, employees will be happier and healthier in the workplace.
Additionally, you can encourage preventative employee benefits like telemedicine to cut costs and recommend annual checkups.