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How to fix employee benefits (ideas from the peanut gallery)

pea·nut gal·ler·y
ˈpēnət ˈɡal(ə)rē/
noun
a group of people who criticize something, often by focusing on insignificant details.
 

It’s easy to criticize from the sideline. And employee benefits provides a lot of fodder for complaints directed at HR folks.

Why do peanut gallery comments hurt so much? 

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Peanut-gallery-style commentary isn’t just unpleasant to receive, but it’s also unhelpful.

As stated above, the peanut gallery is defined as people who focus on insignificant details. And this is what makes it so frustrating.

Healthcare in America is becoming a nightmare. And as employers we face massive challenges. Here’s some perspective: 

The increasing impact on employers: 

According to the Institute of Medicine, nearly 50% of all healthcare spending is wasted or fraudulent. If health care is 20% of your payroll expenses, this is essentially a 10% payroll tax on your company.  

The impact on your employees: 

Out-of pocket spending on healthcare is up 40% since 2009. 79% of all household income growth is going straight to healthcare (so even as wages rise, people don't feel any better off). By 2021, 50% of all household income will be spent on healthcare.  

This is insane. And although you aren’t to blame for it, HR people become the face of all these problems.  I mean c'mon - how could a few HR people solve a trillion dollar problem?!

But some employers are doing just that. And the impact that they are having on their people is incredibly meaningful. 

We like to approach this massive problem by simplifying the duties at hand.

Employer Facing
  1. Squeeze the waste: tackle the 50% of your healthcare cost that goes to waste and fraud
  2. Govern the plan: ensure that you are compliant in this changing regulatory environment
  3. Finance the cost: find the best option to finance your healthcare cost (the more you self-fund, the greater your potential impact)
Employee Facing
  1. Pre-loss: find issues before their impact spirals out of control
  2. Post-loss: help your people mitigate the cost and impact of any adverse situation
  3. Engage people: make sure people understand their benefits and how to access the right healthcare providers 

It’s simple but not easy. And it’s definitely worth it.

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Topics: HR / Employee Benefits