When building a benefits package, there’s a lot for Employers to consider when they work with a Broker. After all, for Groups, employee satisfaction greatly depends on benefits. A survey by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) showed that 92 percent of employees find benefits important to their overall job satisfaction, with nearly a third citing employee benefits as a reason to stay in or leave their current positions. Groups have many options when it comes to selecting which benefits they want to offer their employees.
Of all the benefits, though, business services firm Clutch found that the majority of employees say that healthcare ranks most important. For such an important benefit, it’s crucial that Employers get it right. It’s up to Brokers to ensure Groups not only know all the Carrier options and plans available but are also able to educate Groups about the unique benefits each plan offers.
Health insurance plans can offer a broad range of benefits—and for employees, the more benefits, the better. Comprehensive healthcare benefits packages are highly sought after by employees. According to a survey by American’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), 58 percent of workers said they would rather have comprehensive medical coverage that is higher in cost but covers every service they need. Knowing which healthcare benefits are most appealing is key to offering the most popular benefits packages. When quoting business, Brokers must recognize that employees have various benefit needs and should take into consideration the types of health insurance that matter most to Groups. Here are the most important health insurance benefits for employees.
Nearly 7 in 10 Americans take prescription drugs, according to the Mayo Clinic. When it comes to receiving comprehensive coverage, 51% of AHIP’s respondents place the most value on health plans that cover much of the cost of prescription drugs. From antibiotics to treatments for chronic illnesses and rare disorders, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expects prescription drugs spending to represent a larger portion of overall health spending over time. As spending increases, more Employers will seek coverage that includes this healthcare benefit.
Preventive and wellness services
Preventive care is a growing trend among employees, with many seeing doctors at least once a year to screen for potential health problems, according to the AHIP survey. That’s good news for Groups, as healthier employees lead to lower Group premium rates. To lower costs and keep employees satisfied, 47 percent of AHIP’s survey respondents said it’s important for Groups to not only provide coverage when employees are sick but also to cover the cost of wellness and other preventive measures. This type of health coverage includes counseling, screenings, and vaccines to maintain health and wellness and for early detection of any potential illnesses or disorders. Additionally, wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular. A survey from the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) found that 67 percent of employers plan to expand wellness programs in the next three to five years and are likely to add features that address mental, emotional, and physical health. When pulling quotes, Brokers should make special note of Carriers that also offer wellness programs in their insurance offerings.
Unexpected health emergencies can happen at any time. In fact, about one in five adults visits the emergency room at least once per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s why 47 percent of AHIP’s survey respondents said it’s important to have emergency care covered by their health plan. Emergency care could be anything from transportation in an ambulance to urgent, traumatic injury treatment in a hospital or clinic. The average ambulance ride can cost thousands for the uninsured, so it’s surely a perk that employees will appreciate having covered under their insurance.
Seeing a doctor in person can be inconvenient and costly for both Groups and their employees. That’s why many are looking to telemedicine as a solution. By the year 2020, NBGH projects nearly all companies offering group healthcare plans will also provide virtual care—and the savings are worth it. Global advisory firm Willis Towers Watson found that employers could save up to $6 billion per year by providing telemedicine.
Don’t forget about Fido! Health plans aren’t limited to humans. “Since 65 percent of Americans own at least one pet, almost two-thirds of employees may be shouldering sizable veterinary costs,” Scott Liles, chief pet insurance officer at Nationwide, told Fortune magazine. In fact, more health plans are now including pet insurance. According to Nationwide, about 1 in 3 Fortune 500 companies offers pet insurance not only to appeal to pet-owning prospective hires, but also to help retain current pet parents employed by the companies. Even when quoting small Group business, Brokers should consider pet care as a way to stand out.
Options are a good thing, especially when choosing where you’re going to receive care. According to the AHIP survey, about a third said the main reason they’re satisfied with their health insurance plan is because they’re able to choose from many quality doctors, specialists, physician assistants, nurses and hospitals in their area. Brokers should make sure health plans offer ample local options for Groups when quoting business.
Employees want to better utilize technology. The AHIP survey found that more employees wish health insurance coverage required less paperwork and included innovative technology to help manage health. Savvy Brokers have found that utilizing an online platform for plan selection and enrollment, inputting information, obtaining signatures and managing benefits and qualifying events eliminates the need for paperwork and simplifies health insurance management.
Provide the Health Insurance Benefits Employees Want
Staying up-to-date on health insurance trends is important for Brokers to stand out from the competition when quoting business. FormFire gives Brokers a competitive advantage by making benefits management faster, easier and more attractive for Groups and their employees. Using FormFire’s all-in-one platform, Brokers can quote, sell and maintain small Groups without the hassle of paperwork and multiple platforms. Contact FormFire today to learn more or request a free demo to see how our system can benefit you.