Cogs illustrating health benefits costs During this time of year, people and companies everywhere are taking steps to remain on stronger financial footing — and evaluating one’s health benefits costs can be an important piece of the puzzle. After all, employee health and wellness rank among a company’s most important considerations — as well as its most expensive. Read on to learn how your team can work to keep health benefits costs under control, and team members working toward healthier lifestyles.

Determine What Steps You Can Take as a Company
As the employer, health benefits costs start with you. Your first step should be to reach out to your employee benefits provider to understand the situation you’re stepping into. What did your plan cost in previous years? Will those costs increase in the coming months? Are there better options out there? Now is the time to lay all your cards out on the table — the benefits that matter most to your company and team members, your feelings regarding your current plan and even openness as it relates to finding something new. At the same time, your provider should be checking your rates against companies of similar size to make sure that the prices projected make sense. (And if not, they should be ready to help you find something that does.) It’s all about making sure you and your benefits provider are on the same page and working in your team’s best interest. Our Cut Your Benefits Costs Overview lays out some effective strategies to consider.

Find Ways to Get Your Team Involved
The best health care plans won’t do much for your team if your team members don’t take advantage. Regularly remind your employees about the opportunities available to them through your health plan and its auxiliary offerings. Can team members earn money toward health savings accounts if they take part in certain activities? Are free or low-cost virtual appointments an available alternative to costly office visits? Can apps such as GoodRX help them spot and secure the lowest prices on a given prescription medicine? Whatever the case, regular mentions of such benefits can help keep them top of mind among team members, and can help those team members save big. Download our Strategies for Reducing Health Benefits Costs Sheet for insight into other ways you can get your team onboard.

Be Open and Honest with Employees
No matter how much you and your team put into sidestepping higher costs, price increases will, at times, be unavoidable. In fact, it’s predicted costs will rise 6.5% in 2022. In such situations, we find that honesty is the best policy. Bring your team together to talk through the measures you’ve taken to keep costs contained, the research you’ve done into available options and what that potential increase might look like. In most instances, an increase will be along the lines of a few extra pennies or dollars out of each paycheck. Use this as an opportunity to allow team members to ask questions, voice concerns and get an overall picture of what they can expect. And remember, if your company’s rates are rising, you likely aren’t alone. There are a number of factors that have been pushing health care costs higher in recent years, and companies everywhere are affected. Our Rising Costs Quick Sheet offers an overview of key issues at play. Download your copy and use it to guide some of those team member talks.

Any changes to your company’s health benefits costs can feel stressful, but having a trusted team in your corner can make a real difference. If you have questions on any of the above, or if you’re interested in learning more about BCH’s employee benefits offerings, feel free to contact our team. We are always happy to help.