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Benefit Costs

Employees and Employers Must Make Tough Benefit Decisions Together

Employers refer to it as the employee benefits package, but most benefit designs address each type of benefit separately. In fact, most benefit programs divide benefits information into three or four categories. You have your health insurance benefits that include medical, dental, and vision and insurance and health accounts. You also have your welfare benefits such as life and disability insurance and other ancillary benefits. Additionally, you may have a separate wellness program. And finally, you have your retirement savings benefits.

Management expects employees to choose benefits from each section of the benefits package. No thought is given to the fact employees cannot afford to pay for a comprehensive benefits package. But in reality, many employees find it difficult to pay health insurance premiums and out of pocket medical costs and contribute to a retirement plan. For some, it is one or the other.

Benefit pros need to design their benefit programs as an entire package. They also need to acknowledge the economic challenges some employees face when making benefit plan elections. They should then develop an approach to address these challenges.

Designing A Benefits Program With Employee Finances in Mind

Have a philosophy about your benefits program. Is your goal to offer just some of everything or are some benefits more important than others? Do you view your benefits program as just away to attract or retain employees or are you interested in their financial wellbeing? Think about what kind of benefits program you want to offer and make sure all of your decisions about which plans to offer and their cost support your philosophy. Continue Reading...