Health benefits are more important to employees than ever, but they are pushing company budgets to the limit. Employees want more personalized choices in their coverage options, but employers need to control costs.
Are you feeling that pressure?
There’s a solution that just makes sense.
The Increased Importance of Benefits and Choice
In the last decade, employees have prioritized health benefits when choosing to join or stay with a company.
According to Willis Towers Watson’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, 47% of employees consider health benefits important when joining a company in 2022, compared to 25% in 2010. And 60% of employees consider health benefits when staying at a company, compared to only 41% in 2010.
So, benefits are more important to the long-term health of a company than ever before, but what do employees want?
According to the same study, choice in benefits is an employee’s top priority for improvement but an employer’s fifth priority. And beyond that, traditional group plans push prices up year-over-year, making it more difficult to even consider providing more choice. It’s clear the solution isn’t as simple as continuing down the same path.
It’s time to rethink the benefits we offer and the crucial role they play in the success of any company.
The Good News
There’s a way to offer benefits that give employers cost control and personalized health benefits for employees. It puts employers in the driver’s seat—completely changing the cycle we’re all used to in health benefits.
Health Benefits That Just Make Sense
Here’s what we know. The typical health benefits solution looks like this: Each year, an employer receives or negotiates a rate with a traditional group health benefits plan provider. Year-over-year, the costs increase, putting added pressure on the employer’s bottom line. Meanwhile, employees are left with few options that truly meet their needs. In many cases, they’re forced to choose between one-size-fits-most plans, which may leave them paying a premium for benefits that may or may not be used—because they aren’t tailored to each individual.
It’s easy to feel stuck in this cycle. But what happens if you need (or want) to change now?
As the cost of health benefits continues to rise, Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs) are a serious solution. Employers benefit from cost control over health benefits and the opportunity to provide more choice for their teams. Employees get to select their own plan and finally have a choice in coverage that matches individual health needs. And brokers benefit, too, because they can present a solution to clients that helps them control costs and satisfy employee demand to increase retention.
And ICHRAs open a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) at any time.
What’s an SEP?
An SEP is a window outside of the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) when employees may enroll in health insurance. Rather than traditional OEP, which takes place in Q4 each year, an SEP can be triggered at any time of the year.
When a new ICHRA is offered by a group that currently has traditional group benefits (or no insurance at all), it triggers an SEP. Employees offered the ICHRA may change coverage, purchasing the insurance that best meets their needs.
It’s time for a smarter way to offer benefits. One that sets employers up to retain their best talent and meet shifting demands for more personalized health benefits.
How does that look for you?
Let’s take a look at a real example. A national freight transportation company headquartered in Minnesota was looking for a better solution for its 98 benefit-eligible employees in locations throughout Minnesota, Nebraska, and California. They were facing a third year with a 30% renewal increase, and they had a hard time finding another affordable group plan due to previous high-cost claims.
Their broker found a better solution through Nexben. Switching to Nexben allowed this company to reduce premium costs by more than $211,000, open the doors for employees who then selected 49 unique plans from 18 different carriers, and provide options to employees located in 26 states.
Learn more about how this solution can help gain control of benefits costs while giving employees what they want—choice.
If you’re ready, schedule time to talk with experts who can help you get started with an ICHRA today.