5 Smart Strategies to Reduce Healthcare Costs in Your Business
As healthcare costs are rising much quicker than wages, inflation, or your company’s profits, you might be worried about your bottom line. As more people are seeking help for a variety of issues, you will see certain benefits with a healthier workforce.
Healthcare is a personal issue for every employee and it should remain that way. It’s not the responsibility of employers to meddle or suggest things related to the health of its employees.
In fact, it may be explicitly illegal.
What employers can do is to give employees lots of options for healthier choices, activities, and ways to stay fit. The following strategies to reduce healthcare costs can bring more productivity and contribute to a positive work environment for everyone.
If you want to lower costs and improve the health of your employees, try taking these 5 steps.
1. Offer Incentives
Sometimes your employees need a little push to make good decisions. Rewards don’t have to be major but an external goal is useful in helping some people to set their sights on where they want to be.
An imaginative employer can create smart gifts and bonuses for people who have the most consistently low blood pressure or who keep a healthy BMI. Some employers give out step counters and offer gift cards to health stores or outdoor shops.
Have a board to track steps counted and allow teams to compete.
Encourage your employees to bike to work. Offer discounts to bike shops or movie passes to employees who bike to work every day for a month.
Get to know what your employees like and what kinds of incentives they want to see. Have them email you with suggestions.
And remember your employees will have a different range of abilities and mobilities so be sure some of your offerings will reach them as well.
Have healthy snacks in all of your vending machines. Get samples from companies before you start putting them in the machines. Ask employees what they think of the snacks after they try them to get an idea of what to offer.
Little extras like water bottles can offer employees few excuses for drinking more water.
Look at your nearby health clubs and gyms. See if you can get a discounted package and offer employees discounted or free short-term memberships. Employees might like the convenience of going for a 20-minute run on their lunch break or hitting the gym after a long day at the office.
Having a healthy group of employees will not only increase productivity but will also improve morale overall.
2. Health Savings Accounts
Nearly three-quarters of all large-group employers offer some kind of HSA now. Once you explain the process to employees, you might find your employees are excited about the extra savings.
HSAs allow employees to save for healthcare on a pre-tax and tax-free basis. The account will grow over time and be a great rainy day fund for any employees who are reaching close to retirement age or have any kids at home.
Make sure the qualifications and disbursement terms are clear to all of your employees. After retirement, the money can be added to their retirement stream.
You’ll find more employees thinking more carefully about their healthcare services. With several types of wellness care covered by their employer, they could be making fewer unnecessary trips to their doctor.
3. Cover Spouses
This can be an important consideration for talented hires who are considering working for your firm. The ability to cover spouses and kids will ensure that your employees want to stick with your company for the sake of their families.
As families change, be sure that you’ve got a plan that is flexible with those changes. The ability to offer coverage to partners of all types will make your company both compassionate and competitive.
To keep costs down, you can have a clause wherein if the spouse of your employee has access to comparable coverage, they are ineligible. Otherwise, you can cover stay-at-home parents and partners that don’t work at such a great company as yours.
While adding additional coverage may not be one of your top strategies to reduce healthcare costs, what you get back in devotion from employees is priceless. And keeping ineligible spouses off your plan will save you money and even the whole thing out.
4. Help Smokers Quit
Having a smoker on staff can cost thousands per year. Not only will you be paying for their smoke breaks, which damage productivity, but smokers are more susceptible to illness.
The damage that smoking does to the immune and respiratory system are cutting into your bottom line.
While it might not be legal to eliminate smoke breaks during work hours, you can make it easier for smokers to quit. Offer free programs to help smokers quit.
Enroll committed smokers into their own incentive program where if their lung capacity and blood pressure improve, they get a healthy reward.
When possible, help to subsidize any costs your employees face in trying to quit. Given that, statistically, one out of five of your employees smoke, those thousands per employee will add up fast.
5. Drug Discounts
Connect with local pharmacies to see if they offer any discount drug programs. You could be offering generics to employees at a much lower cost than your plan is costing you and employees.
For a small co-pay, you could be getting generics, which are just as good as name brands, and chopping your prescription program costs in half.
Bring in doctors and pharmacists to explain that not only are generics cheaper, most medical professionals never buy name brands.
Strategies To Reduce Healthcare Costs Can Put A Business On Top
Having a company full of healthy employees will ensure that you’re saving extra money in your company’s budget. Sick employees need recovery days, put a dent in productivity, and can get other employees sick.
If you’re ready to engage some strategies to reduce healthcare costs for your business, contact us to get started before the next flu takes its toll on your staff.