How to Inflation Proof Your Health Plan

Many believe that the US economy is headed for a recession and inflation continues to challenge businesses and consumers alike.  Post-pandemic employee sentiment is also difficult after the “great resignation” and the hospitality industry took a huge hit in the ability to restaff, especially for lower-wage employees. 

For business owners in the hospitality industry, the opportunity to grow is bright but hiring and retaining employees will continue to be very challenging. Not only has the labor pool tightened, but also there’s new competition for employees from gig economy jobs, like Uber and Lyft, that all offer easy entry, flexible hours, and independence. 

The Opportunity 

A recent poll by Reuters /Ipsos shows that 65 percent of Americans are very concerned about access to, and the overall cost of health insurance, including premiums, deductibles, and copays. Combine this with another survey of hospitality workers that showed that 90 percent of their employers did not offer health insurance or health benefits—and the opportunity for businesses in the hospitality and foodservice industry is clear.  

Right now, employers can leverage their ability to provide a healthcare solution to their employees and compete for growth. 

But health insurance is expensive, right? How can I afford to provide benefits to my employees without going broke?    

Healthcare benefits can be very affordable when you focus on a strategy that delivers meaningful access to healthcare first, and then add the financial protection employees may need based on their own circumstances. 

Take a moment and put yourself in your employee’s shoes. Maybe it’s one of your dishwashers making $10 per hour. Now think about some of the barriers he or she might have to gain access to healthcare— money, transportation, and the ability to get time off work. Now, what if you could remove those barriers to give that employee the confidence that they can take care of themselves and their family if one was to get sick 

So—we’ve identified the problem, the opportunity, now let’s talk about the solution.    

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The How 

Three steps to delivering affordable healthcare benefits to hire and retain employees: 

1. Start with a foundational plan that delivers meaningful access to healthcare for your employees. 

Your health insurance consultant should suggest and implement a foundational plan specifically designed for low-wage earners that removes the biggest barriers to accessing healthcare… time and money.   A pathway to FREE is important and virtual care is the most affordable and efficient way to deliver meaningful healthcare.  This newfound access is critical for most foodservice employees who work long hours and often can’t find off-hours to visit a doctor.  

When your employee does need in-office care, cost can be a challenge especially when there is a copay. In fact, in a national survey, 40 percent of Americans say they didn’t go to a doctor in the last 12 months due to costs, and another 32 percent said they didn’t fill a needed prescription due to cost. Make sure that your foundational healthcare plan delivers primary care office visits with affordable and low copays as opposed to high-deductible plans that require the employee to shell out thousands of dollars (which they most likely don’t have) before they receive the benefits of the health insurance.    

2. Identify your budget and forecast an ROI 

Most industry experts agree that the cost of turnover for a $10–12 hourly employee is between $3000-$4000. For many positions that require specialized training, this cost could be much higher.  

Businesses usually want to compete in this highly competitive labor market, so they are leveraging affordable core healthcare plans and offering them for free to their employees. The result is significantly reduced turnover. 

3. Offer additional insurance options as a “buy-up” for catastrophic or high-dollar needs. 

Everyone has a different definition of catastrophic, to a $10-12 hourly employee that might be $200. To a manager or supervisor that number might be higher. Each will likely have different financial protection requirements. 

There are a lot of affordable solutions that can help protect against the unexpected. 

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Self-funded level funded major medical

For employers looking to offer a traditional major medical to employees, a new breed of high-performance affordable plans gives them transparency into the real cost of their healthcare spend. With this comes predictability of cost over multiple years and the opportunity to receive funds back at the end of the year.  While these types of solutions have typically been available to only large employers, new level funded solutions are more popular than ever with small and medium-sized employers looking to gain control over their healthcare costs.  

Businesses everywhere can deliver healthcare benefits to all employees without breaking the bank. The costs to provide benefits is a fraction of the costs associated with hiring and turnover—not to mention the opportunity costs of not having the right employees (and enough employees) on the team. 

To learn more about how you can offer meaningful Enterprise level benefits to everyone in your organization that lowers cost, and increases your ability to recruit and retain employees, sign up for an upcoming webinar, “How to inflation proof your healthcare plan” or click on the link below to schedule your comprehensive benefits evaluation.   

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