As is often the case this time of year, I found myself half-watching another classic holiday movie as I ate a late dinner and answered some emails. It was National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, a movie I’d seen countless times, so I was paying little attention as the boss was kidnapped and brought to the Griswold household.
But then something caught my attention, a statement that so truly encompasses where today’s healthcare benefits strategy needs to be going.
Frank, the kidnapped boss, says it best:
“Sometimes things look good on paper but lose their luster when you see the effects on real folks. A healthy bottom line doesn’t mean much if, to get it, you hurt the ones you depend on.”
Of course, Frank is talking about cutting end-of-year bonuses, which have somewhat gone out of style today. However, his statement also translates to the trend of controlling costs by depleting health coverage.
Employers and brokers alike need to consider these things:
- Yes, healthcare costs have skyrocketed.
- Yes, bringing down those costs is important.
- But considering the effects of depleting healthcare coverage is equally important.
Employers, think of the ‘ones you depend on,’ those key leaders, innovators and can’t-live-without-ems who drive your bottom line.
Consider the added stress, long hours, and frequent travel of these high impact individuals; job attributes that lead to increased risk of health issues such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Now consider the effect that downgrading health plans could have if they can’t access, can’t afford or don’t feel encouraged to take the time to get the care they need. If they aren’t working at 100%, your company isn’t reaching its full potential. Reduced productivity ultimately trickles down to the entire company and ends up taking a huge hit on your bottom line.
What would happen if they decided to leave and go work elsewhere? This is also what you’re risking if you choose to reduce their healthcare coverage. To remain competitive, you have to provide significant coverage to these valuable players.
To add on, in today’s tight talent market, the cost to replace these individuals could be astronomical! So you’ve kept healthcare costs down, but reduced productivity, inflated costs in other areas and lost important people. Lose-lose-lose.
Healthcare benefits strategy needs consider all of this. You can’t just sit down and make changes to solve problem A. You have to develop a plan to solve problem A that won’t cause problem B, C or D. It must be a joint effort: a balancing act of protecting your bottom line and your people.
To wrap up, remember there are unique solutions that allow you to do just that. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about supplemental health plans you can offer just to specific employee classes.