3 Considerations for Ditching Traditional Health Benefits This Year

November 16, 2021

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We’re in the thick of enrollment season. While some employers have locked in their health benefits for the year, others continue to weigh their options.  The decision to renew or explore new solutions is especially heavy in the current employment environment as employers are looking to optimize their recruitment and retention efforts in the year to come.

While there is a lot to think about, the following are three of the most important considerations as employers weigh their options.

With traditional plans, costs keep increasing while value stays stagnant.

Employer-sponsored health insurance rose 4% to an average of $21,342 in 2020, and costs keep climbing. Nearly 90% of large employers admit that the cost of providing health benefits to employees will become unsustainable in the next five-to-10 years. On average, employees this year are contributing $5,588 toward that overall cost of coverage (with employers paying the rest), and despite this major investment, consumers simply don’t buy into the value anymore. Rather, employees find themselves avoiding using their so-called “benefits” for fear of even more surprise bills or financial responsibilities, which doesn’t contribute to overall well-being or long-term cost management.

Innovative health benefits are now available that, through surgical underwriting, lower costs for employers and employees and provide better coverage. For example, Gravie’s plans are saving employers 19% on average annually and helping members save $100/month on average for out of pocket costs.

Question to consider: Is the benefits package you’re leaning toward this year maintaining the status quo, or introducing new value and reduced costs? If the former, keep doing your research.

The future of healthcare expectations is evolving quickly.

The veiled and confusing prices and unnecessary hoops the health benefits industry has asked individuals to jump through, where it feels like every turn leads to more questions than answers, has met its boiling point. The industry has perhaps never seen such quick evolutions as it has in the past few years – with the impacts of COVID-19, the rapid adoption of digital tools and telemedicine, the introduction of Gen Z to the workforce and the expectations younger generations bring to the table.

Consumers aren’t taking what they’re given at face value anymore. They’re instead demanding better experiences that put their best interest in mind, especially when it comes to convenience, ease of use, and straight-forward communication.

This year especially, employees will be relieved when their employers offer plan designs that make it clear what’s actually covered, which helps them understand how they can prioritize their health the way they want and need to.

Question to consider: Could your employees explain their health plan easily to a friend or family member? If not, it may be too complicated for them to feel confident navigating.

In 2022, benefits will set employers apart while remote work and other COVID realities have leveled the playing field.

In today’s market, as COVID continues changing the world around us, it’s more important than ever to tune into individuals’ priorities and concerns. We’re still in a pandemic, after all, and people want to know they’re covered should a health issue emerge – COVID-related or not. There’s also a growing health and wellness mindset, as people have a renewed awareness of their health – physical and mental.

As the working world evolves and remote work is no longer unique, companies that have relied on in-office perks to attract and retain talent are going back to the basics when it comes to health benefits. Benefits that can actually be used are a big perk in today’s environment. (Apologies to the pool tables and conference room kegs of the past.)

Question to consider: Are your benefits and perks relaying to employees that you value their health and wellness, and compelling enough to stand out among other employers?

It’s never too late to make a change, but especially for those still weighing their 2022 options, we’d love to introduce you to Gravie and help make this the year you and your employees get real value out of your benefits program, improving health and well-being along the way.

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