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Affordability Based Medical Plans and Employee Retention

Affordability Based Medical Plans and Employee Retention
Affordability Based Medical Plans and Employee Retention

There’s a battle for talented employees happening in our nation today. COVID-19 has turned nearly every workplace environment upside down, changing not just how we facilitate work, but in fact forcing some people to question whether they want to work at all.

The employers and organizations we all serve are feeling the pain more than ever as they wrestle with creating new jobs and retaining high-value employees. This new environment has led to a new expectancy and set of demands coming your way, as business leaders are faced with increased expenditures in benefits packages to offer greater support to their existing and potential employees.

We also know you’ve been there this whole time as their trusted broker and consultant. You've scaled up too; having to wear the many hats of insurance consultant, talent expert, financial advisor, benefits educator and more. In essence these work environment changes have you becoming a de facto plan designer and having to become a more comprehensive benefits communications professional.

What makes it even more difficult for a number of employers and organizations is the lack of competitive health insurance solutions. And with the current players in the marketplace, it has become overwhelmingly difficult to provide that extra value your clients are seeking, especially when it comes to employers looking for affordable medical plans to support low wage earners and/or hourly employees.

Yet there’s plenty of choice on the horizon, and Coterie Advisory Group can help you navigate it with our affordability based medical plans, Fundamental Care ®

While we know that a majority of the employers and organizations you support are shopping for medical plans based on ACA Requirements, we also see segments of this population purchasing based solely on affordability all the while trying to avoid A and/or B penalties. Team all of this with employers knowing they must use the plans as recruitment tools to stay competitive with job seekers.

Below we provide tips that highlight ways to assist in employee retention and recruitment by offering medical plans based on your clients wants and needs.

1. Current and Potential Employees of your clients want benefits

There's no doubt that in the midst of these major changes, you feel the pressure to deliver something affordable, unerringly innovative and different for your clients. But you also know that not everyone is getting the memo, especially in today's markets.

According to AICPA (The Association of Certified Public Accountants), “80% of workers would keep a job with benefits rather than take one that offered more pay and no benefits.” This is also supported by Willis Towers Watson as they stated in an 18 month long survey of employers and employees who use its Group Marketplace where they state “78% of workers would likely remain with their employer because of the benefits it offers, up from 72% in 2016”

The information above affords a huge opportunity to add value by offering insights about what feedback other companies are receiving and what they are doing to tackle similar issues your clients may be battling. You also have unique access to industry knowledge that many employers aren’t aware of, or simply don’t have the personnel to keep up with. Describe ways that you can assist in providing affordability based medical plans. It’s in their best interest because they may not realize how the benefits decisions they’re making may be costing them and ultimately their talent pool more in the long run.

If you're doing this already or want to change your approach, we're here to help by giving you tools and plans that will fit the mold of businesses seeking to hire or retain the employees they need while offering more choice and flexibility with the plans they choose.

2. Guide them toward plan designs that are affordable and offer flexibility. Get Creative.

Many business owners or leaders may feel stuck assuming there isn’t really anything they can do to make their health plans and care options leaner or to lower costs. In a number of cases, business owners and leaders feel coerced to accept price increases due to the lack of plan design choices.

Most businesses have no choice but to pass these expenses downline to employees. The increasing costs of prescriptions, rising copays, and unrealistic insurance deductibles have left many employees feeling abandoned. It’s abundantly clear that traditional health plan offerings like high deductible health plans (HDHPs) are just too expensive. According to the Kaiser Family Foundations 2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey, the average deductible for single coverage in small firms is considerably higher than the average deductible in large firms ($1,972 vs. $976) [Figure 7.6]. Overall, for covered workers in plans with a general annual deductible, the average deductible for single coverage in small firms ($2,379) is higher than the average deductible in large firms ($1,397) [Figure 7.3]. – The average general annual deductible for single coverage for covered workers in plans with a general annual deductible has increased 13% over the past five years and 68% over the past ten years [Figure 7.8]. And as you are well aware, those numbers are exorbitantly increasing. Through this data and running simple math, we can see a large segment of the population is in need of health care options that are more affordable.

While most of your clients would love to provide traditional health plans to all of their employees, it may just not be an option. In most cases, HDHPs deductibles can equal 1-2 months worth an employee's salary! It’s time to get creative in your client offerings and perhaps look at Limited Benefit Indemnity or Level Funded Plans. Especially for organizations and businesses operating with an employee base comprised of the following:

Low Wage Earners

Hourly Employees

High-Turnover Employees

Low Margin Industries

Limited Benefit Indemnity and Level Funded Plans give your clients the ability to provide health care options to their current or potential employees while still containing healthcare costs.

We offer plan options to address diverse workforce needs. Employers finally have the ability to select a plan design they desire without having to force themselves and their employees to make a potentially large jump to a High Deductible Health Plan.

3. Providing equitable and accessible healthcare is no longer optional.

In today's arena, Businesses and Organizations are constantly faced with a prodigious challenge in recruiting and retaining quality talent. In addition to better pay, benefits have proven to be a determining factor in differentiating one employer from another or remaining with their current employer. According to AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans), 75% of employees say that coverage played a role in their decision to accept their current job, while 78% say it impacts their decision to stay at their current job. As a result, organizations are choosing to focus on strategies that will help them stand out to candidates without exhausting their already limited capital and resources.

Now more than ever, it’s imperative for brokers to provide a repertoire of solutions for clients. Brokers who lack the acumen to build more cost-effective and robust health plans options for their clients will lose to their more innovative and diverse competitors.

Creating or coming up with cost effective solutions for clients is easier than most might think. There are many affordability based medical plan options available if brokers take the time to look. By extending plan options and resources available to employers, brokers can enrich the partnership in which employers, organizations, and their employees experience a greater sense of fulfillment in their benefit offerings. Working productively and strategically to offer more while remaining affordable, strengthens health plan options and, in most cases, the organization.

We offer Affordability Based Medical Insurance Plans

Fundamental Care offers two Affordability-Based Medical insurance options which can assist:

  1. An employer-sponsored, level-funded, Limited-Day Health Plan for small to mid-size employers and carve-out classes of large employers. Plans cost 30-40% less than HDHPs with no deductibles. A near-comprehensive plan that both employers and employees can afford.


      1. An affordable Bronze MVP plan – with no deductible

      2. An affordable mid-range MEC plan with limited days of hospitalization– with no deductible

      3. A Value priced outpatient expense MEC plan- with no deductible

  2. A Limited-Benefit Indemnity Plan for large employers with part-time, hourly, and seasonal employees; and for associations and affinity groups. An affordable option for the uninsured that provides coverage for basic medical expenses.

    1. Available with or without Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) and Minimum Value Plans (MVP)

Both can be customized and structured with affordable premiums and no deductibles. The plans are high in potential coverage, guaranteed issue, and include upfront, day-one benefits -- healthcare you can actually use.

Coterie Advisory Group, Inc. is a National insurance program manager and consultative advisor who delivers Affordability-Based Medical Plan Strategies to help benefit brokers, employers, and associations in the benefits industry.


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