As healthcare costs rise, employees and their families are feeling the pain. When employees don’t have access to good healthcare options, understand their healthcare options or feel confident with their healthcare choices, it causes them stress and can negatively impact the employer as well. This blog will examine how brokers can help clients provide financial wellness tools to their employees.
How poor employee financial wellness impacts employers
One in six Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance has had to make “difficult sacrifices” to pay medical bills in the last year, and half have put off a doctor’s appointment, filling a prescription or other necessary medical care due to cost.
When employees are stressed about their finances, worried about a sick family member, or not receiving optimal healthcare themselves, they are less likely to be engaged and productive at work. Plus, employer healthcare claims (and premiums) will rise due to medical issues exacerbated by lack of proper care.
On the other hand:
- Employees with access to better healthcare options are less likely to be financially burdened by medical bills and more likely to seek needed care
- Employees who understand their health plans are more likely to make smarter healthcare decisions, such as choosing urgent care when appropriate rather than the emergency room
- Employees who are healthier and less financially stressed are more likely to be engaged and productive at work
Clearly, it is in the employer’s best interest to provide robust healthcare options as well as financial wellness tools to support their employees.
How employers can help their employees
There are several ways that employers can support their employees in these essential areas, to keep them healthier physically and financially (and brokers can play an important role in helping clients provide these tools and resources).
- Offer creative benefits packages with cost-saving options such as bundled procedures, telemedicine, and more.
- Pair a high-deductible health plan with a tax-advantaged medical expense account like an FSA, HRA or HSA. Even better, employers can offer funding for these accounts to help employees cover out-of-pocket medical expenses.
- Provide tools and reminders outside of open enrollment season for understanding and using benefits.
- Understand the employee population and tailor benefits plan and wellness communications to what they care about most.
- Customize offerings to help employees miss less work, manage stress and reduce costly health conditions by providing fitness center discounts, stress management tools and wellness challenges.
- Offer wellness tools such as online tracking and viewing of health goals.
- Offer price transparency tools and involve the employee and their family in understanding the quality/cost of healthcare and the options that they may have available to them when considering care or procedures.
- Provide other third-party tools to support financial wellness, like HPS’ SuperEOB which delivers a simplified billing experience for employees and their families.