PwC the international accounting and consulting firm, projects that healthcare costs in the U.S. will rise 6.5% next year, the same as this year. That is more than 4 times the estimated rate of inflation according to Statistica, a quantitative research firm. Nevertheless, PwC says healthcare cost inflation could escalate further.
So what is an employer to do? We’ll talk with a group benefits consultant about how small business is coping with healthcare costs for their employees.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM FRANK LOPEZ, GROUP BENEFITS CONSULTANT AT SAXON FINANCIAL
PRIOR TO THE ELECTION, ARE COMPANIES APPROACHING HOW TO HANDLE HEALTHCARE IN 2017 DIFFERENTLY? (3:26 in)
In Frank’s words – Not really. Most employers are frustrated with the costs and forced penalties. But a lot of people are relying on their employer to provide and guide them.
Tip – Having healthcare benefits is becoming more important for hiring and employee retention.
WHO IS SEEKING TO CREATE MORE PART TIME JOBS TO LIMIT THEIR HEALTH CARE COSTS? (4:50 in)
In Frank’s words – You’ll find that strategy being put into play with retail and service industries.
Tip – More important than part-time / full time is the total number of employees in the company since the government healthcare requirement begins at 50 employees.
ARE EMPLOYEES BEING ASKED TO CARRY MORE OF THE HEALTH COST BURDEN? (6:28 in)
In Frank’s words – For the small business, it’s inevitable for them to be able to sustain a benefits plan. For those businesses between 2-50 employees, they may have to cut out their dependents.
Tip –Companies see having less or more than 50 employees as the most important factor.
FOR COMPANIES UNDER 50 EMPLOYEES THAT ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE HEALTHCARE, WHY ARE THEY OFFERING HEALTH BENEFITS? (8:30 in)
In Frank’s words – The employee is demanding it. They are coming back after the exchange not being as successful as they had hoped clamoring for benefits.
Tip – Not offering health benefits makes it a lot easier for employees to look elsewhere for a job.
FOR EMPLOYERS WHO ARE DIRECTING THEIR EMPLOYEES TO THE EXCHANGE, IN WHAT WAYS ARE THEY EQUIPPING THEM TO MAKE THESE DECISIONS? (9:30 in)
In Frank’s words – I don’t think the employer is taking on the responsibility of educating and hand holding their people.
Tip – Outsourcing this responsibility may be the best approach.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO STOP THE ESCALATION OF HEALTHCARE COSTS (11:23 in)
In Frank’s words – Congress has to start working together. In the immediate future I expect to see what we’ve been seeing. To stabilize the system, it will need to control costs of the hospitals, physicians, and pharmacies.
Tip – Look into a multiple group, self funding health pool.
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS A BROKER CAN PROVIDE? (15:44 in)
In Frank’s words – Show the employers what the options and costs are for individuals and as a group. It’s eye opening.
Tip – Push your broker for all the options and impartial information.