A Complete Benefits Package Can Support Employees and Reduce Turnover

Andrew Struth, HealthTrust Benefits Advisor

The information contained in this article is not intended as legal advice and may no longer be accurate due to changes in the law. Consult NHMA's legal services or your municipal attorney.

Employee benefits matter!

Providing a robust benefits package can not only help you attract and retain talented employees, it can make your employees feel rewarded and appreciated for their work and that could translate into a more productive workplace. Providing comprehensive, quality benefits shows your employees you are invested in their overall health and future. Studies show that employees who have comprehensive benefit packages tend to work harder and are more dedicated to their jobs!

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Identifying the Components of a Complete Benefits Package

There is a lot to think about when putting a benefits package in place for your employees.  So, what should you consider?

  • Comprehensive, Quality, Affordable Medical Coverage. Medical plans pay for all or a portion of healthcare expenses if an employee or their family members become ill or injured. They also provide coverage for preventive care services, such as routine physical exams and immunizations. Two common types of comprehensive plans to consider are Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs). These plans generally cost the least while still providing comprehensive coverage for employees and their family members. 
  • Dental Coverage. While most dental plans provide coverage for preventive services such as cleanings and fluoride treatments, some include coverage for more costly services, such as fillings, prosthodontics (crowns, etc.) and orthodontics. Dental coverage is a relatively low cost benefit that encourages regular dental care and helps employees cover their out-of-pocket costs. Many plans provide up to $2,000 benefit for individuals per year. Good oral health equals good health, and employees really value this coverage.
  • Vision Care. Vision benefits can reduce an employee’s costs for routine preventive care and prescription eyewear. Vision plans cost very little to both the employer and employee and are an attractive addition to any benefits package.
  • Life Coverage can give your employees greater peace of mind; they know if tragedy strikes, their families will be protected. Life benefits can be offered in either a flat dollar amount or a multiple of an employee’s salary. In addition, dependent life and supplemental life policies may be available and purchased by employees to provide an added level of protection and benefits.
  • Disability (Short-Term and Long-Term) benefits are a safety net that can prevent a health issue from becoming a financial crisis for your employees. Disability benefits continue to pay an employee a portion of earnings if they need to be out of the workplace for an extended period of time due to an accident or an ongoing health condition. Depending on the plan design, benefits received are typically between 50% and 66 2/3% of an employee’s base pay.
  • Other Important Benefits
    • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) accompany traditional medical plans and allow employees to put away pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified medical and dependent care expenses throughout the year. Employers may also elect to contribute funds to these accounts for employees.
    • Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are employer funded arrangements that can help offset deductibles to pay for qualified medical expenses incurred under their medical plan.
    • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are paired with a High Deductible Health Plan and allow employees to use the funds to pay for plan deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. Like FSAs, employees can put money away pre-tax to pay for qualified medical, dental, vision and medication expenses. Employers may also elect to contribute funds to these accounts for employees.

Help Your Employees Use Their Benefits – Educate, Educate, Educate!

Once you have a complete benefits package in place, what’s the next step? Education! It’s important to provide employees with information about their benefits so they understand them and can take full advantage of the resources available to them. Studies show that employees who understand and use their benefits tend to be more productive and more satisfied with their jobs. Surveys of employers find that offering health benefits and helping employees understand how to use them helps retain employees, improves employees’ attitudes and performance and helps keep them healthy and reduce absenteeism.

As a reminder to HealthTrust Member Groups, your HealthTrust Benefits Advisor is available to provide you with strategic consultation on product offerings and cost-effective benefit solutions. Our Benefits and Wellness Advisors also provide benefit education sessions virtually or in person, and are available to participate in Member Group sponsored health and/or benefits fairs. This allows both employers and employees to learn and stay up-to-date about the benefits, programs and services available to them!

Andrew Struth is a HealthTrust Benefits Advisor.

Sources: IFEBP: https://www.ifebp.org/bookstore/benefits-communication-survey-results/Pages/benefits-communication-survey-results.aspx; Association of International Certified Professional Accountants,  https://www.aicpa.org/news/article/americans-favor-workplace-benefits-4-to-1-over-extra-salary-aicpa-survey; National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690190/