Open enrollment is upon us again, and for many private dental practices, it can be challenging to find a balance between offering competitive employee benefits that are also affordable.
In fact, employee benefits are often one of the biggest annual expenses for practices, so it’s important to have a benefits strategy in place help guide you as you evaluate and select your employee benefits package for the year.
To help get you started, EmPower HR shares some tips to offer employee benefits without breaking the bank:
Utilize A Broker
A broker will partner with you as you evaluate the various plans that are available, which plans may be able to reduce your costs based on their deductible or monthly premium and determine which option best fits your team’s needs as well as your budget. Often plans with a higher deductible or copay have a lower monthly premium and still provide your staff with quality, affordable coverage.
If you’ve been with the same carrier for a few years and your premiums continue to climb, it may be time to make a change. Your broker can help you compare benefits packages offered by other carriers to ensure you’re getting the plan and pricing that best fits your practice’s needs.
Review Your Contribution Strategy
Your broker may also recommend adding some lower cost plans and incentivizing employees to select the more affordable option by covering a larger portion of the monthly premium. Similarly, if you are considering a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), pair it with a Health Savings Account (HSA), which makes it more affordable for your employees. HSA account utilizes pre-tax contributions to pay for qualified health expenses as they arise. You can encourage employees to take enroll in a HDHP by contributing to their HSA account as well.
Offer Ancillary or Voluntary Benefits
Ancillary benefits such as dental, vision, accidents, critical illness, short term disability or long-term disability coverage are often employee paid (voluntary) and enable you to attract and retain top talent by offering comprehensive employee benefits – at no additional cost to you. (Employees who are happy with their benefits package are more likely to stay with a company than those who are unhappy with their overall benefits.)
Educate Your Employees
It’s important to spend time reviewing each benefit plan you offer to ensure your employees understand the key differences between each option and ways to save money (for themselves and you) in the long run through:
- Telemedicine/Virtual visits – Encourage employees to take advantage of telemedicine and virtual visits. This is a cost-effective approach to managing your employee’s utilization of benefits while still offering them the care they need for ailments like the common cold or a sore throat.
- Wellness programs – Create a company culture centered around employee health. Many carriers offer wellness programs where employees can earn rewards for healthy behaviors and promote a healthier, more active lifestyle.
- Using 90-day prescriptions/mail-in programs – This is a convenient, cost-effective option for patients are prescribed long-term medications for chronic health conditions. Prescriptions are sent directly to the patient’s home and 90-day supplies are often less expensive than receiving smaller, more frequent quantities. Prescription drug cards like GoodRx can also be used to reduce copays and out of pocket medication costs.
- Prioritize Preventive Care – Educate employees on the importance of preventive care. The goal of preventive care is to help employees stay healthy, which reduces healthcare costs by helping them to avoid emergency healthcare measures.
While employee benefits are likely a large expense for your practice, offering a competitive, comprehensive benefits package helps you to attract and retain top talent. There are many ways you can help offset benefits costs as well.
If you would like help reviewing your options and selecting a benefits package for your practice, contact Colin Geaney at EmPower HR: [email protected].