By this point in the year, you’re well aware of the new laws and regulations surrounding employer-sponsored employee health insurance benefits and are taking the appropriate steps to meet these requirements. As plan fiduciary of your employees’ benefit plans, it may feel overwhelming–maybe getting this information from your broker is more difficult than you anticipated, or seeing just how much your plan is costing you and your employees is an unpleasant financial wake-up call.
However, this is an excellent time for you as an employer to leverage the new requirements to make your company more competitive. While thinking about laws, regulations and potential consequences for failure to comply may sound scary for businesses, look at this as a positive opportunity for talent recruitment efforts and employee satisfaction. Today, we’ll explain how these laws are actually a good thing for your company’s efforts to attract and retain talent, and how you can take full advantage as such.
How Do I Leverage New Transparency Laws?
Let’s review. Under the new transparency regulations, you as an employer and fiduciary of ERISA plans must make all plan information regarding pricing, including in-network and out-of-network amounts, readily available to your employees. The federal government’s intention here is to create more freedom for employees when they select a medical provider.
Hypothetically speaking, this will ultimately create happier employees. Since benefit administration is often plagued with unclear details, bureaucracy and more of the same, this clarity is a breath of fresh air for tired employees. With more information available, they can make better decisions for health care and save some of their hard-earned paychecks, too.
Here’s where you can leverage these laws: use them as an opportunity to increase employee satisfaction. Now, your employees will have a newfound appreciation for their benefit plans. The more valuable information you provide them, the more they feel like you’re listening to their concerns about the rising cost of health care–and the more you want to help them and their families save.
Why Does This Appeal to Employees?
In our research at Waypoint Benefit Solutions, 50% of the employees we’ve surveyed said they’d leave their current position if they found a similar position at a company offering better benefits. Today’s workforce is frustrated with high healthcare costs, inflated insurance rates and feeling in the dark when it comes to employer benefit decisions. If an employee has a significant amount of talent to offer to your organization, they can be selective with where they choose to work. Your benefit package needs to be as appealing as possible so you can recruit them
Think about it. If you’re a prospective employee coming from a company with a traditional broker, what would you be looking for? More of the same, or competitive benefits committed to total cost transparency? If you left your last position because your contributions were far too high and you didn’t feel your insurance was worth the cost, you wouldn’t be eager to start a new position where the benefits were similar. You’d want to know your employer cares about both your financial and physical health and select a company that goes above and beyond for transparency and listening to your feedback regarding benefits.
How Do I Start Leveraging Transparency Laws for My Company Retention Efforts?
To start, know the full extent of your requirements as plan fiduciaries. Don’t merely rely on your Human Resources department to master this information, as they are often already overworked with administering benefits and handling employee feedback and complaints. Make sure your leadership is thoroughly educated about the regulations and how your company is appropriately responding. Work with your broker to get essential information, and determine the most effective way to share it with your employees.
If you’re running into issues while working with your broker, like inconsistent pricing or erroneous charging on bills, consider switching to a broker that prioritizes cost transparency and the voice of your employees in their model. This extra layer of transparency will both protect you from being noncompliant and make your duties as fiduciaries much simpler.
Using Federal Regulations to Protect Current and Future Employees
Required transparency is a true opportunity to get ahead of other companies and use it as a value proposition for current and prospective employees. Assure your employees that the law is asking you to work on the steps further, but you want them to have access to transparency and understand what their costs are going to be no matter what.
Ready to Leverage Even More Transparency in Benefits?
At Waypoint Benefit Solutions, we specialize in creating unique, data-driven benefit plans based on feedback from your valued employees, your unique data and our customized solutions. Our innovative model makes your company more competitive—contact us and get started today!