2023 is just around the corner and it’s bringing a whole new set of issues to open enrollment. It seems that the newest concern for employees when deciding which health benefit to choose from, or if they continue with their current plan, is inflation.
As we all know, the current annual inflation rate is at 8.2%, which translates into spending more money for the same amount of goods you purchased last year. For the average employee this means that their purchasing power has been slashed by that amount. We are already seeing cutbacks in grocery shopping, dining out, and vacations. Staycations were the thing to do this past summer. One news source claims that many of your average workers are considering not having Thanksgiving this year. Now, that is bleak news…
Historically, when middle class families see their income shrink the first things to go are insurance related, Long-Term Care, Life and Health, in that order. So, what does that have to do with you, the business owner?
As we have previously discussed, the main issues that employers of any size have in common today is talent acquisition and talent retention. We now find that today’s employer is being tasked with having to go above and beyond to retain the talent they already have. At the high cost of onboarding a new employee, nothing seems more logical.
Because the current rate of inflation may have hit your company as hard as your employees, salary increases may be out of the question. So, the benefits you offer your employee may be the key to solving your retention issues, going forward. As I mentioned earlier, during hard times insurance usually falls into the dispensable category even if we know that health insurance should be indispensable. So, how do you create the environment where it becomes attractive to the employee to maintain their health insurance in place?
There are four ways to help your employee retain their health insurance program during open enrollment without digging into your company’s budget:
- First, choosing three different program options to offer your employees. These program options will differ in premiums allowing for one of them to fit within your employee’s budget. For instance, you should offer a PPO, an HMO, and a program with an HSA.
- Second, consider increasing employer participation. If you are now participating with the mandatory 50%, think about increasing your participation to 60% 70%. Think of it as an investment, rather than a business expense. An investment in your employees is an investment in your company’s success.
- Third, make sure that your employees know and understand each option being offered and the value it brings to their household. During these uncertain times understanding value is essential for everyone, especially for the average middle class family.
- Fourth, make Open Enrollment a positive experience by engaging your employees with easy-to-read literature pertaining to your offerings. Have your benefits agent close at hand to answer questions or clarify doubts. Have an open enrollment fair or forum with your benefits agent and HR personnel. If you are a smaller company that does not have an HR person, then make sure that you set aside one day for your agent to be on hand to explain and answer questions. This could be done in person or online.
Just remember that your employee is your most valuable asset, and anything that you can do to help them and their families during these unsettling times will come back to you tenfold in gratitude and loyalty. If you would like for us to offer our free insight, please feel free to reach out at www.soraglobal.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 305-776-8962.