Cost sharing is now a fact of life for most employees with the exponential growth of health care costs. Eighty-three percent of employers now share health care costs with their employees, according to a survey by the Society of Human Resource Management. Seventy percent of HR professionals say that one of their biggest benefit challenges is dealing with the increasing cost of health care benefits. Twenty-eight percent say the best way to control health care costs is to offer a consumer driven health plan (CDHP). These plans seemed to be going out of style from 2015 to 2017, but CDHPs are back on the front burner, surging 17% from 2017 to 2018 with 40% of employers offering them today.
Some employers are managing costs with surcharges or restrictions on dependent coverage. One-fifth of employers have a restriction or other cost-saving measure for covering spouses and domestic partners. Most often, spouses and domestic partners are not eligible for health coverage if they’re covered by another entity, such as their own employer (8% to 10%). Some employers impose a surcharge for coverage (8% to 9%). Also, 18% charge a higher premium for smokers.
While employers face growing health care costs, they’re also dealing with a shrinking pool of job candidates. A popular strategy among employers is to expand benefit offerings. Thirty-four percent of employers have increased benefit offerings in the past 12 months while only 5% have reduced offerings.
Employers expanded these benefit offerings the most:
- 51% health-related
- 44% wellness benefits
- 39% employee programs and services
- 32% professional and career development benefits
- 28% leave, family friendly and flexible working arrangements
Benefit decisions can either cost or save an employer a substantial amount of money when it comes to turnover as these statistics reveal:
- 92% of employees say that benefits are important to their job satisfaction
- 29% say that their benefit package is a top reason to look for another job
- 32% of employees who are unlikely to look for another job say that their benefits package is a top reason for staying put.
It takes a seasoned professional who has walked that tightrope to control costs while keeping employees happy. Contact your LISI Regional Sales Manager for some creative strategies.