Health care premiums are increasing at an unprecedented rate, said to reach around $10,000 per employee in 2012. As a result employers are looking to cut health care costs whenever possible. Here are 5 ways employers may need to cut health care costs this year.
- Offering high deductible health insurance plans
- Steering employees toward cost-efficient health care providers
- Rewarding good health habits, penalizing bad ones
- Charging extra for spouses who can get health insurance coverage elsewhere
- Raising copays and share of the premium
Four out of these five actions are out of an employee’s control and will happen if necessary, regardless of employee behavior. But when employers reward good health habits and penalize bad habits, they are doing a service to their employees and to their bottom line. Rewarding healthy behaviors with small denomination gift cards or an afternoon off is a great way to gain desired behavior from employees and keep health care costs manageable. Healthy employees are more productive, and require less time off for medical attention and sick days. Maintaining a healthy and happy workforce could help employers prevent raising employee health care contributions and improve their employees’ overall well being.